Angered by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman slamming his December 27 debate, billionaire Donald Trump lashed back at the two GOP presidential candidates on NBC’s Today show Monday morning.
“I think most candidates are going to join, and I think those two candidates have zero chance to be elected,” Trump said. “I think they are joke candidates. I think they are doing very poorly, and certainly Mr. Huntsman is doing extremely poorly in the polls at 1 percent. And frankly it gives more airtime to people who have a chance to be elected.”
While Huntsman’s numbers are still low, Trump’s comments on Paul being a “joke” look very hollow with Paul now surging in the Iowa polls, even edging out former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.
This past weekend, both Paul and Huntsman announced they would slated to be moderated by Trump. The Texas congressman called it “beneath the office of the Presidency,” while Huntsman indicated he would spend the evening “watching Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich suck up to Trump with a big bowl of popcorn.”
Gingrich, who is a member Trump’s exclusive golf club in Northern Virginia, said he would attend the debate moderated by Trump, who hosts NBC reality show The Apprentice.
Trump also defended the former House Speaker when Today show co-host Matt Lauer asked him about Gingrich’s latest controversial comments on children of poor families being lazy.
“It wasn’t maybe politically correct, but it happens to be the truth,” he said. “And I think one of the reasons – he’s surging like a rocket ship – is because of the fact he says it like it is. In terms of what Newt said, that’s the way it is.”
WATCH: Video from NBC, which was broadcast on November 5, 2011.