Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann claimed that 200,000 people dialed in Monday evening for her "tele-town hall" with celebrity real estate mogul Donald Trump. If callers were hoping to hear no-holds-barred criticism of President Obama and unconventional ideas, they called the right place.
Donald Trump blamed China and OPEC for destroying the American economy and advocated a 41 percent tax on Chinese goods to compensate for their currency manipulation. He said Obama should have demanded 50 percent of all future Libyan oil revenues before agreeing to back the rebels.
"If we had said, we are going to give you the help," argued Trump, "but for the next twenty years we get 50 percent of your oil, do you know what they would have said? 'Absolutely, would you like 75 percent?'"
The president also should make Iraqis foot the bill for the Iraq War, Trump said. "To the victor go the spoils," he declared.
Trump, who flirted with a run for the presidency but then decided against it, said he was proud of his role in forcing Obama to make his full birth certificate public, and despite the ample documentation, said that the Republican presidential candidates should still be investigating if Obama was born in the United States. Trump also recommended that the press investigate what he claimed to be shady deals around the Obama family buying their house in Chicago.
He made it clear his participation in the call was not an endorsement of Bachmann. Trump praised the Minnesota congresswoman but said that Texas Gov. Rick Perry's entrance in the race "took a lot of her thunder."
Bachmann called the Obama administration's hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to the now bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC "crony capitalism" and said of the affair "we are not a banana republic, we are the United States of America."
Bachmann called the Chinese "bad actors" and said that China engaged with the Taliban.
After Trump left the call, Bachmann continued to argue that Libya and Iraq should pay back the United States for military actions from funds from their oil revenues. Bachmann also argued that the U.S. should stop funding the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.Special Section: Campaign 2012