Billionaire Donald Trump won’t count on the black vote if he runs for president — a constituency the real estate mogul said is sure to back President Barack Obama because of race.
Still, “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump said Thursday on Albany’s Talk 1300 radio.
The blustery reality TV star denied reports that he would use the May 22 season finale of “The Apprentice” to declare his candidacy. His office later released a statement saying that he may instead use the show to announce when he would hold a news conference to talk about his 2012 aspirations.
Trump, 64, said he’d prefer running on the GOP ticket, but didn’t rule out an independent bid.
The anticipation over whether he’ll seriously run doesn’t sit well with some Republican strategists who say The Donald is just doing what he does best: drumming up publicity.
“He’s qualified to be a celebrity,” said strategist Mike Edelman.
When interviewed by CNN on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he likes Trump, but “he’s not presidential caliber.”
Meanwhile, Obama said Thursday to ABC News that Republicans who are pushing the idea that he is not born in the United States will have trouble winning any general election, a veiled reference to Trump, who has come out as a birther.