Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP presidential candidates are slated to debate on FOX this Thursday and contrary to his brash public persona, Trump says he hopes the candidates “can keep it on a high level.”
But, “If that doesn’t happen, I’m willing to go to the other route,” he told Breitbart News in an interview on Tuesday.
“If I’m attacked I have to, you know, do something back, but I’d like it to be very civil,” he also told ABC News.
Trump, according to several recent polls, is the current Republican front-runner. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is in second place.
The billionaire businessman’s opponents are trying to figure out how to attack him. Trump added that the candidates who directly went after him went down in the polls.
“And I find that really interesting,and I find it a great honor that that would happen, because in all fairness Lindsey Graham and Perry were really hitting me hard, and they went down in the polls. I am greatly honored by that,” Trump said.
“Isn’t it an amazing phenomenon? You know what I said today? Lindsey Graham was at 3 and nobody went after me harder than Perry and Lindsey Graham. Perry was at 4 or 5, and he dropped down to 2 and Lindsey Graham dropped down to 0. I said that is the greatest honor. They attack me and they go down,” Trump said. “I was surprised, to be honest with you. What do you think of the polls? Are you in a state of shock?”
Perry and Graham, his two most outspoken critics, won’t be in the debate. Trump will go against nine other candidates who scored the highest in an aggregate of polls: Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.
Trump added that he’s excited to be in the debate.
“I look forward to it. It will be very exciting,” Trump said. “I’m looking to treat everybody with great respect which they deserve. I hope we can talk about the issues.”
Trump hinted that he wants to focus on the issues. “Our country is in trouble. Politicians have driven us into the ground,” he told ABC. “They don’t know what they’re doing. They’re certainly good at getting elected and after they get elected they don’t do anything.”