Donald Trump’s bombastic campaign style and outlandish statements are at times done to be “different,” the candidate said in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt Tuesday.
“Sometimes I do that for effect, to be honest with you, and I think that’s fine,” Trump said. “You’re being hit from 15 sides. I want to be different.”
But he said the Trump Americans see on the campaign trail isn’t necessarily the same one they would get in the White House.
“When you’re president, you act in a different way. There’s no question about that, and I would do that,” Trump said.
Trump’s latest verbal controversy occurred Monday night, at a rally on the eve of today’s New Hampshire primary when he used an epithet depicting a woman’s anatomy to describe one of his GOP primary opponents, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Trump defended his use of the word because he was simply repeating what a woman in the audience at his New Hampshire rally shouted out. He likened it to a re-Tweet, saying, “it wasn’t my word.”
The real estate mogul, who is often categorized as a candidate running outside the Republican Party establishment, said he was part of the establishment until he launched his presidential bid.
“I was a very big contributor to Republicans and to many people. You know, as a businessman, I got along with everybody,” he said. “And frankly, I was a big member of the establishment.”
Holt sat down with Trump in New Hampshire as voters there head to the polls in the first-in-the-nation primary, but the usually confident campaigner sounded a softer tone Tuesday after his second-place finish in Iowa despite leading in the polls there.
“I’m tentative. You just don’t know,” he said. “I mean, I have these wonderful polls that are showing wonderful numbers, but as you know, Lester, it doesn’t mean that much.”
Trump also said he and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, are similar because their popularity is proving that “people are fed up with the people that are governing.”
“They’ve done a terrible job. And they look at him as an outsider. … And they look at me as an outsider,” Trump added.
He also says there is one similarity on policy as well.
“We’re very much the same on trade,” he said. “You know, he understands that we’re being ripped off by China, by Japan, by Mexico, by everybody on trade, and I do, too.”
Trump notes this difference, however: “The difference is I can fix it; he can’t.”