Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said Friday that his private persona is different from his public image, embracing a suggestion from his latest high-profile supporter, Dr. Ben Carson, that there are "two different Donald Trumps."
"I probably do agree, I think there are two Donald Trumps," Trump told CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett in response to Carson's characterization. "There's the public version, and people see that. I don't know what they see exactly but it seems to have worked over in my lifetime, but it's probably different than the personal Donald Trump...So perhaps there are two Donald Trumps."
Despite a somewhat awkward choice of words, Carson's primary aim with the "two Donald Trumps" characterization was to reassure. He wasn't accusing Trump of being inauthentic; he was suggesting that Trump would not be as vocal and provocative as president as he's been on the campaign trail. And Trump himself has made a version of that point before.
In a January interview, "Face the Nation" Moderator John Dickerson asked Trump whether he'd talk as much as president as he's talked on the campaign trail. Trump said he'd rally the country behind his agenda, but he added, "I would certainly probably not talk as much."
Trump blamed his verbosity on the competitive primary: "Obviously, I have to do a lot of talking. I'm getting hit from 15 different sides. I like to defend myself. Right?"
"But, no," he added, "I would be a much different person, I think, as president."
Asked about supporters who predict he'd file down his rough edges as president, Trump replied, "I don't think I have rough edges. I will be honest with you."
"I went to an Ivy League school. I was a good student. I went to the Wharton School of Finance, the best business school in the world probably, certainly, I mean, one of the great schools of the world," he explained. "And I can be more politically correct than any coach that they can get me. I can be the most politically correct person with you. I could say something, at the end of this interview, you would say, wow, was that boring."