Donald Trump just had an epic interview with a right-wing talk radio host in Wisconsin — who did his best to do the impossible: getting The Donald to admit that he is obnoxious and vulgar, and should apologize.
Radio host Charlie Sykes sought to corner Trump on offensive comments about women, his past financial support for Democrats, and also his past attacks on the record of Wisconsin’s own Gov. Scott Walker.
But most of all, Sykes slammed Trump over the attacks he made against Ted Cruz’s wife, when he retweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz in contrast to his own wife, supermodel Melania Trump. In response, Trump said that it was Cruz who started it, when a friendly super PAC sent out a racy modeling photo that Melania had done.
And besides, Trump said of the Heidi Cruz photo: “I didn’t even know it was necessarily a bad picture of her versus Melania, frankly.”
For the record, here is that Trump retweet:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
At one point, Sykes asked Trump if before agreeing to come on the show, had he been aware that Sykes has declared himself part of the “#NeverTrump” hashtag movement? (Those are people who declare that they will not ever support Donald Trump, even if he becomes the nominee.)
Trump answered that he didn’t know that — which might seem like a drastic failure on his campaign’s part. But, Trump said, he was happy to do the interview.
Sykes answered: “I would’ve given you credit either way.”
The following is a transcription of just the last two-and-a-half minutes:
Trump: “Is he going to apologize, is Ted Cruz going to apologize for starting it and sending out that picture?”
Sykes: “And that’s your standard.”
Trump: “Because I thought it was very inappropriate. And by the way, it was an artsy picture — it was GQ, it wasn’t anything horrible. It wasn’t Penthouse or Playboy, or any of that. But you know, he should apologize to me — that’s how it all started.”
Sykes: “Do you ever apologize? Do you ever apologize?
Trump: “I do.”
Sykes: “Because you know what, most real men, when they screw up they’ll go, ‘You know what, I was a hothead, I shouldn’t have done that.'”
Trump: “I do apologize, I believe in apologizing. But I think before I would think about apologizing, he owes me an apology, because what he did was wrong. He sent out a picture that people in Utah—”
Sykes: “Well actually, he didn’t, and you know that he didn’t. You know it was a super PAC, but I understand your point.”
Trump: “Oh, I knew he did. I know he knew about it. And there are some people that say his group bought the copyright to the picture from GQ magazine — which is a good magazine. GQ is, you know, it’s a good magazine, ‘Gentleman’s Quarterly.’ It’s a good magazine. It’s not like a sleazy magazine or anything—”
Sykes: “Do you want some free advice, though?”
Trump: “—she was on the cover. And I think it was inappropriate.”
Sykes: “Do you want some free advice, seriously? Since you’re now here in Wisconsin, honestly — if you stand up there and you say, ‘Folks, let me just say this. I’m running for president, Ted Cruz is running for president. Let’s leave our wives out of it. Both of us have married intelligent, beautiful women, and from now on we are not going to be talking about one another’s wives. People in Wisconsin will love that, Mr. Trump.”
Trump: “I don’t mind that at all. I think it’s great, I think that’s fine. Who wouldn’t agree to that? I think it’s great. Again, I didn’t start it — he started it. If he didn’t started it, it would’ve never happened. Nothing like this would’ve ever happened. But he started it. But what you just said is fine with me.”
Sykes: “Remember, we’re not on a playground — we’re running for President of the United States.”
Trump: “I agree with that a hundred percent. And my views are not playground views. My views are that our country is losing on every front: We’re losing militarily; we’re losing at trade; we’re losing in education; we’re losing with our Second Amendment, which is being knocked at every corner — and nobody’s stronger on the Second Amendment than I am, nobody; and we’re losing at every single corner of our country. Especially we’re losing with trade, because we’re becoming a poor country, because our countries are ripping our country off. And I’m the only one that knows how to stop it.”
Sykes: “Donald thanks so much for joining me. I appreciate it very much. ”
Trump: “Thank you very much.”