Donald Trump: Ron Paul Can't Win

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Donald Trump, speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC), on February 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. The CPAC annual gathering is a project of the American Conservative Union. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump, speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference
Getty Images
Businessman and television personality Donald Trump says that America needs a winner to run against President Obama in the next election - and libertarian icon Ron Paul isn't it.

"Ron Paul cannot get elected, I'm sorry," Trump said to a rowdy audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. today.

The remark elicited a huge commotion from the crowd, which was packed with young fans of the Texas Republican, who made a splash in the 2008 Republican primary by gaining the fervent support of libertarians but ultimately won minimal support. Paul's political action committee put together an extensive campaign to bring his young supporters to this week's conference, which is considered a platform of sorts for potential presidential contenders.

While Paul's young fans booed, a large portion of the crowd - surely growing impatient with Paul's continuing presence at CPAC (he won the straw poll last year) - rose to their feet and cheered Trump.

Trump was prompted to address Paul's chances of winning after some in the audience began cheering for Paul during Trump's speech.

(Watch his remarks at left.)

"Considering the shape the United States, we need a competitive person, a highly competent person" to run for president, Trump said, to which some shouted, "Ron Paul!"

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After the crowd continued to cheer and boo for some time, Trump said, "I think he is a good guy, but honestly, he has just zero chance of getting elected."

Trump used most of his speech to tout his own credentials.

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"I'm well acquainted with winning, and that's what this country needs," he said.

He said he will decide by June whether or not to run for president.



Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here.

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