Donald Trump said he doesn’t want Tom Brady to endorse him and risk losing sponsorships. (Glenn Russell/The Burlington Free Press via USA TODAY)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took time out from campaigning in New Hampshire to join Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Monday and discuss his relationship with Tom Brady and explain why he’s OK that the Patriots quarterback has not endorsed him. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady has long been friends with Trump and has made complimentary comments about him, but he has not officially endorsed him. Trump said he’s not disappointed that Brady has not taken the next step.
“No, because I told him not to,” Trump said. “He’s got sponsors, he’s got all of his different things that he has to do. And I told him not to.
“He couldn’t be nicer. There was an article in GQ, he said, ‘Trump’s the biggest winner, you can’t beat Trump’ and all that stuff. And I said, ‘Don’t do that, because you may have a sponsor that doesn’t like me.’ They may be liberal, they may be something. And I don’t want him to get involved in that stuff. It’s hard for athletes.
“Now, with that being said, I have had many athletes endorse me. Lots of different guys have endorsed me, which is great. But Tom’s in a very interesting position, and I said, ‘Tom, don’t do that.’ What he does is he says great stuff about me.
“I think he would do it if I asked him. I’ve never asked him to do it. But I think he’d do it if I asked him.”
Trump also is friends with Patriots bosses Robert and Jonathan Kraft, but he again said he will not push for an endorsement.
“I’ve never asked them,” Trump said. “I am friends, [but] I’ve never asked them for their support. If they want to support, they can support.
“You know, I find endorsements — and they are friends, and perhaps they have other friends that are running, too. If they want to support me they can. That’s up to them. I wouldn’t ask them. I never ask people for support. Like, Tom came out with beautiful statements about me the last couple of weeks in GQ. I never asked him to do that. It’s nice that he does it. But I don’t like to ask people for support. If they want to support me, they can support me.”
Trump indicated he was disappointed with Sunday’s Super Bowl and would have preferred to have seen Brady in the game.
“We needed our guy in there,” Trump said. “That was just a boring game. Am I the only one that thought that? … It was a terrible game, it was terribly played. The whole thing, it had a bad vibe. Well, we need Tom. We’re a little prejudiced, so anyways. Next year Tom will be in there.
“What people don’t know about Tom, he’s obviously a great quarterback, great athlete, but he’s a great guy.”
Trump already is on record criticizing the NFL for its treatment of Brady in the Deflategate case, and he stands firm in that stance.
“I think it’s terrible, and I think that whole Deflategate is a disgrace, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think it’s a disgrace.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On his controversial comments and unapologetic behavior: “I am able to say things that other people don’t. And I think for two reasons. A lot of people don’t have the guts to say what’s right. I’m somebody that went to Ivy League schools. I was a very good student. I went to the Wharton School of finance. My uncle was a professor at MIT for many, many years, he was one of their great professors, Dr. John Trump. So. I’m like an intelligent person. I say the truth. Maybe it’s not politically correct, but the problem with our country is we’ve become too politically correct.”
On which of his Republican opponents he would support if he were not in the race: “There are a few people that I really think are good. I don’t want to tell you right now because I don’t want to give them any fuel for the fire. Over the last six, seven months I’ve gotten to know them, and we have a few good people. A guy like Jeb Bush is a stiff, frankly. He doesn’t have it. He doesn’t have what it takes. But you have people that have talent, and we’ll have to see what happens. But I’d rather not tell you right now because I’m running against them.”
On Bernie Sanders’ recent success on the Democratic side against Hillary Clinton: “I would love to see Bernie prevail. I would love to run against him. But the fact is — I’ll be honest with you — the fact is, Hillary I think almost would be almost easier to beat than Bernie. But I would be very happy to see either one of those two. I think they’re both weak candidates. Bernie, this country is not going to put in a socialist/communist — probably is a communist. They’re not going to elect a guy like that. I think Hillary in a certain way, though, is easier to beat than Bernie.”
On his claim that he would build a wall on the border and have Mexico pay for it, and what he would do if Mexico refused: “They won’t say that, No. 1, because I know how to talk to them. They won’t say that. But if they did, I would take it in a different form. You have to understand, Mexico is making a fortune off the United States. An absolute fortune. They are ripping this country so badly on trade, and at the border — and I’m not even talking about all the drugs that are pouring across the country that they could stop in two minutes. If Mexico wanted to stop the drug trade, it would be stopped within 24 hours — you do know that. … If we had a strong leader — which we don’t, we have a pathetic leader — if Obama was a strong leader, one phone call to Mexico and it would stop. And we’re building the wall, by the way, don’t worry about that. But one phone to Mexico and the drugs would stop. But we don’t have the leader to do that. Believe me, that will be one of my first phone calls: ‘You’ve got to stop that.’ ”
On Trump’s comments during Saturday night’s debate that he was OK with waterboarding and would even go further than that: “They’re chopping off the heads of people, like medieval times. We’re not dealing with a normal group of people. We’re dealing with animals. They’re chopping off the heads of people in the Middle East. James Foley — I know the parents, they’re great people — James Foley had his head chopped off, and we’re worried about waterboarding, which they say is not in a high category of torture. I guess it’s torture, but it’s a lower level of torture. … I don’t want to get into what I’d do, but there are many things that people would do that are in that world. It’s a nasty world. But you know what the nastiest thing you can do is chop off heads. And I guarantee you that those people in the Middle East and the places we’re talking about when they hear we don’t want to waterboard, we don’t want to this, we don’t want to that, we want to treat people with [compassion], well, I guarantee you those people are laughing at the weakness of our country.”
On why he is running: “To make America great again. I’ve done so well in this country. I employ thousands of people. I’ve employed thousands, I’ve really built a tremendous company — you saw that when I did my filing. It’s massive, it’s got very little debt, it’s got tremendous income. Frankly, I wouldn’t have believed it was even possible. I’ve done so well. My theme is, ‘Make America great again.’ We’re going to have strong borders, we’re going to have a strong military, we’re going to take care of our vets. We’re going to get rid of your heroin problem and drug problem in New Hampshire, we’re not going to let it pour across the borders. We’re going to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to get rid of Common Core. Bush wants Common Core — it’s a disaster, Common Core. So many other things. We’re going to strengthen up the Second Amendment. So, it will be really fantastic.”
On Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary: “I hope that I win tomorrow. I just hope that we don’t have a snowstorm in New Hampshire. I have a great relationship with the people of New Hampshire. I hope I win.”