A viral photo of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is making its way across social media, quoting the real estate mogul as saying that if he runs for president one day, he’ll run as a Republican presidential candidate because Republican voters “are dumb.” The meme has been proven false.
Snopes reports that the alleged quote supposedly happened during a 1998 interview between Trump and People magazine. The meme, created anonymously, quotes Trump as saying the following.
“If I were to run, I’d run as Republican. They are the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe everything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”
Yet, after browsing through People‘s online archives, there is no indication anywhere that Trump actually made the above quote. In fact, no interview at all exists between Trump and People in which he talks about running for president one day. The majority of articles on Trump didn’t exist until years after 1998, and centered around his then upcoming show, The Apprentice, and his marriages and divorces.
One of the only references the magazine published regarding Trump and politics occurred in 1987, when Trump revealed he had been beseeched by both the Democratic and Republican parties to run for office. In 1988, however, Trump indicated during an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he probably wouldn’t run for president. Over a decade later, Trump’s interest in politics increased, but an interview he gave to CNN the same year indicates that there was no reason that Trump would have bashed Republicans.
“I’m a registered Republican. I’m a pretty conservative guy. I’m somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care, et cetera, but I’d be leaving another party, and I’ve been close to that party… I think that nobody is really hitting it right.”
Meanwhile, Trump continues on with his race as a Republican presidential candidate. He recently remarked that he would have prevented the 9/11 tragedy had he been president in 2001. CNN reports that Trump stated that he doesn’t blame George Bush, Jr. for what occurred in 2001, but that the attacks wouldn’t have happened in the first place had he been in charge, indicating that the people responsible for the disaster would have never been in the United States.
“So there’s a good chance that those people would not have been in our country.”
The statement was a direct jab at Jeb Bush, a fellow Republican presidential candidate and the brother of George Bush, Jr. Jeb claims his brother kept the nation safe during this two terms as president, but Trump took issue with the statement.
“I’m not blaming George Bush. But I don’t want Jeb Bush to say, ‘My brother kept us safe,’ because September 11 was one of the worst days in the history of this country.”
Trump also took to to Twitter to aim at Jeb Bush, questioning his brother’s motives of destabilizing the Middle East by invading Iraq in 2003.
Jeb, why did your brother attack and destabalize the Middle East by attacking Iraq when there were no weapons of mass destruction? Bad info?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2015
Despite fake quotes and numerous other rumors and speculations, Trump continues to lead in key states. The Inquisitr reports that CNN/ORC polls in both Nevada and South Carolina show the real estate mogul leading in the double digits against his competitors. Former neurosurgeon and fellow Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson trails behind Trump in 2nd place, with a difference of 16 percent in Nevada and 18 percent in South Carolina.
So far, Donald Trump hasn’t replied to the alleged 1988 quote.
[Photos Courtesy of Al Bello / Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images & Ethan Miller / Getty Images]