"Greater than anything we've seen in this country": Trump declares his "movement" bigger than Reagan's

“Now, Reagan had a little bit of this, but I don't think to the same extent"

By Sophia Tesfaye
January 15, 2016 3:23AM (UTC)
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(AP/Bill Haber/Carolyn Kaster/Photo montage by Salon)

In an interview with Bloomberg's “With All Due Respect," dominant Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump declared his rule-bending campaign larger than the movement that elected conservative hero Ronald Reagan.

"Reagan had a little bit of this, but I don't think to the same extent," Trump told co-host Mark Halperin after wrapping up a rally before 10,000 supporters in Pensacola, Florida -- a rally that reportedly was forced to turn away another 5,000 supporters.


In 1980, Reagan defeated incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter in a landslide election, winning 44 states and beating Carter by 10 percentage points in the popular vote.

"This is a movement," Trump insisted. “It's not just like, 'Gee. It's a little political rally and people are showing up to have fun.' These people are committed.”

"Why would a person stand in line for seven hours and then not want to go into a voting booth?” Trump incredulously asked before confidently declaring that his supporters will show up on election day. “It takes 10 minutes. So I think they're going to vote.”


Asked to compare his so-called "movement" to similar historical political actions by co-host John Heilemann, Trump compared his popularity with that of the former president. "Well, I think it's greater than anything we've seen in this country," the former reality TV star declared. "The closest thing I can think of is Reagan," he continued, "but I don't think it's the intensity that we have.”

Trump eventually downplayed the significance of his populist campaign, telling Bloomberg that "it doesn't matter unless I win."

In a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out Thursday evening, Trump more than doubled his national lead and expanded his lead over his nearest competitor by 8 points over the last month. The real estate magnate held firm to his first place standing with the support of 33 percent of Republican primary voters, followed by Ted Cruz at 20 percent. Trump's 13-point lead is up from the slight five-point advantage over the Texas senator he saw last month.


Watch Trump's interview on “With All Due Respect,” via Bloomberg Politics.

It's Donald Trump Vs. Ted Cruz in Thursday's GOP Presidential Debate

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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