Authors: Ashley Ulker
(WASHINGTON) -- Michele Bachmann had spent three days trumpeting Monday night’s tele-town hall featuring billionaire Donald Trump, but the guest of honor didn’t even know the conference call was scheduled to take place until a reporter clued him in Monday morning.
Trump said he had agreed to the teleconference with Bachmann supporters, which the Minnesota congresswoman has been promoting as a fundraising device, but didn’t know it was happening until he was told by the anchors of Fox News' Fox and Friends.
“It’s called a modern-day town-hall meeting, right? And I said, ‘I guess I could.’ I didn’t even know I was doing it till you just told me, but that’s OK,” Trump said Monday.
Trump said Bachmann asked him to participate in the call “not [as] an endorsement,” but as a “favor.”
On the conference call with the Minnesota congresswoman and her supporters Monday night, Trump said Michelle Bachmann is “terrific” and “smart,” but don’t expect to see him endorsing her or applying to be her vice president anytime soon.
Trump had plenty of kind words for Bachmann, but lest anyone think his participation in a “tele-town hall” was an endorsement, Bachmann introduced the billionaire by letting listeners know he was “not on the call this evening because he’s endorsing my candidacy for president.”
Asked if he would consider joining Bachmann on a ticket as her running mate, Trump punted: “I don’t think that’s what we’re here for tonight,” adding that any of the GOP candidates would be a “far cry from what we’ve got in the White House.”
“She’s a terrific person. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a smart woman,” Trump said of Bachmann. “She’s respected by everyone. She’s universally respected by the other candidates.”
But even Trump, who has become a de facto kingmaker this season, conceded “when Gov. Perry came in [to the race], he stole a lot of her thunder.”
Trump for his part fielded questions from Bachmann supporters, holding court on some of his favorite political issues: unfair Chinese competition, ungrateful Libyan rebels, and President Obama’s birth certificate.
Bachmann hit many of her favorite talking points, reminding listeners she was the first candidate to sign a pledge to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, that she wants to repeal Obamacare, and that she supports drilling at ANWAR and other oil-rich areas.
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