WASHINGTON, D.C. — Donald Trump’s plans to make America great again are going to include a lot of whining.
Trump on Tuesday morning in an interview on CNN’s “New Day” proclaimed that he is “the most fabulous whiner” when confronted with an opinion piece that criticized him using the same label.
“I do whine because I want to win and I’m not happy about not winning and I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win,” Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.
Trump was pressed for specifics on the issues he’s raised on the campaign trail and touched on every issue from abortion to equal pay for women to foreign policy during the half-hourlong interview on Tuesday.
And Trump also refuted a report that he was considering ruling out a third-party run.
“I’m running as a Republican, I’m leading in every poll…I’m leading all over the place and I want to run as a Republican,” Trump said. “If I am treated fairly that’s the way it’s going to be but I want to keep that door open. I have to keep that door open because if something happens where I’m not treated fairly I may very well use that door.”
Trump added that an independent run is “not something I want to do.”
ABC News reported Monday that Trump was considering ruling out a third-party run, citing an unnamed senior adviser.
That came days after Trump refused to pledge to rule out a third party run and support the Republican nominee whoever it might be, when asked about it during the Republican primary debate last Thursday.
That refusal doesn’t appear to be doing Trump any damage in the polls as Trump claimed the No. 1 spot in two polls conducted in Iowa and New Hampshire conducted after the debate.
Trump even topped Scott Walker in Iowa for the first time, claiming 17% of support to Walker’s 12% according to a Suffolk University poll released Monday. In New Hampshire, Trump continues to lead the pack, taking 18% in the Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University poll also released Monday.
“It’s amazing how many so-called senior advisers I have. Everybody’s a senior adviser and a longtime adviser,” Trump quipped in a separate interview on Fox News on Tuesday.
Trump’s Tuesday morning Fox News appearance was his first since he criticized the Fox News moderators of Thursday’s debate and sparked a controversy by going after Megyn Kelly, saying there was “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
That comment was largely interpreted as a reference to menstruation, which Trump has fiercely denied.
But Trump seems to have buried the hatchet with Fox News, telling one of the show’s morning anchors that “we’ve always been friends” as he was welcomed back onto the network.
Trump again slammed those who interpreted his comments as referring to menstruation on CNN, saying only “a deviant” and those with “sick minds” or “semi-sick minds” would think that.
He instead again pivoted to slamming former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who suggested half-a-billion dollars to fund women’s health was too much. Bush later said he “misspoke” and meant to critique only the half-a-billion dollars in funding Planned Parenthood receives.
“I think Jeb Bush owes women an apology because he made a terrible statement about women’s health issues and it was a foolish statement and perhaps a stupid statement,” Trump said. “He’s the one that has to apologize to women.”
Trump also lambasted Planned Parenthood, the health care organization and abortion provider that has been under fire after undercover videos were published online.
“The biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. I mean its like an abortion factory, frankly, and you can’t have it and you shouldn’t be funding it. It shouldn’t be funded by the government,” Trump said.
But he also suggested he might allow some aspects of Planned Parenthood to remain funded, saying he “would look at the individual things…maybe some of the things are good.”
Planned Parenthood is already barred from using federal funds to fund abortions, the aspect of Planned Parenthood Trump said he wants to defund.
Just last week, though, Trump had said he would shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood as a whole.
And while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow presidential contender, said during the debate last week he opposes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, Trump said he continues to support the exceptions while still opposing abortions in all other cases.
“I am for the exceptions. The health of the mother and the life of the mother, I absolutely am for the exceptions and so was Ronald Reagan for the exceptions, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with that and you have to do it,” Trump said.
Trump insisted that he would be the best president for women, touting the number of women executives in his company’s top positions — women he said he pays as much as men in similar posts.
But while Trump said he loves the “concept” of equal pay, he would not back efforts to require equal pay through legislation.
“I’m looking into it very strongly and I’ll have a position on it in the not too distant future,” Trump said. “One of the problems you have is you get to have an economy where it’s no longer a free enterprise economy.”
It was just one of several issues where Trump explained his position in broad strokes but — despite being pressed for specifics by Cuomo at several points in the interview — would not delve into the details of any policy proposals.
Trump’s campaign has repeatedly insisted that it will release policy papers based on its own timeline — one that has not been formally laid out.
When pressed on specifics for his tax reform plan, for example, Trump said he would simplify the tax code “by using intelligence, by using common sense.”
“You do have to have flexibility. When these guys come and issue these plans and they’re hard and fast you’ve got to go with the punches like the boxers say…you’ve got to have a certain flexibility,” Trump said.