“Well I have great respect for President Obama. I think that he sets the right tone, he’s an intelligent guy, it’s about time we have an intelligent guy in that office.”
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In an interview for CNBC's "I Am" series conducted in the months following the 2008 financial downturn, Donald Trump revealed he was a fan of sex, steak, pasta, cars, and, in a more extensive interview, President Obama's tone on the economy.
"Well I have great respect for President Obama," Trump said, according to a transcript still archived on the site. "I think that he sets the right tone, he's an intelligent guy, it's about time we have an intelligent guy in that office. He's an intelligent guy, you look at him, he knows."
The interview itself is not dated, but references in the interview to remarks made by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that day date the interview to February 2009. Trump on several occasions praised President Obama for his handling of the 2008 economic crisis.
"The one problem we have is no matter how smart, there's a certain amount of trial and error. It's never been done before, it's never been attempted before," continued Trump. "What they're trying to do now is breaking new ground, so there's a lot of trial and error, and we'll see what happens. Honestly, it sounds good. People think it's good. You can go to me, you can go to great businessmen, they think it's good, or some think it's not good."
Trump said the banks should pay a penalty for their role in the run up to the financial crisis, but added that they couldn't be allowed to fail.
"I mean, there are a lot of people that say we should do nothing. I don't agree with that cause I think every bank would be out of business, there would be a run on every single bank from the best bank to the worst bank, so I think you have to at least do something with the banks to show up the banks," he stated. "But I also think the banks should pay a penalty what's happening, and at least the banks should be loaning out the money that they're taking in by the hundreds of billions from the government."
Trump again praised the president's tone on the direness of the financial crisis.
"Well sometimes you have to be blunt to really make the point, and in this case, I think the President's being very blunt," said Trump. "He's talking about catastrophe, he's talking about, he's using words, frankly, that haven't been used before in describing a situation, and he's right. Now, you could say he's overselling for a reason, or maybe that's just the way it is. I mean, we would have had a catastrophe if certain things didn't take place six or seven months ago, we would have had an absolute financial panic, we almost had it anyway. And everybody that's really knowledgeable about Wall Street, they said there was panic in the air, so I think he's doing right overselling as opposed to underselling the problem."
In a series of rapid fire questions, Trump revealed what he does for fun and his favorite foods:
What is your favorite food?
What is your idea of fun?
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