Donald Trump is again flirting with a presidential run, and says the timing of “The Celebrity Apprentice” – which will end in February – will afford him plenty of time to decide whether he wants to get into the 2016 race.
Trump answered the question about his presidential aspirations, which clouded the NBC program’s future in 2012, following a panel for “Celebrity Apprentice” at NBC’s portion of the TV Critics Assn. tour on Friday.
“The last thing we need is another Bush,” Trump said, referring to the prospect of Jeb Bush winning the Republican nomination. He also dismissed the idea of a third run by Mitt Romney.
During the Q&A session, Trump said NBC had been very supportive in regard to allowing him to speak out politically – which has included questioning whether President Obama was born in the United States – while hosting the show. In terms of whether that alienates part of the audience, Trump said it probably does as much to build viewership as it does in terms of losing it.
Trump is hardly the only possible presidential contender whose work in television has raised concerns about equal-time rules, which would require providing time to other candidates in the case of a declared run. Fox News Channel has recently split with commentators Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, for example, because of their political ambitions, while receiving criticism for creating a revolving door with politicians who the network employs between elections.
Being coy about politics has been a way of staying in the spotlight for Trump, who is also a recurring presence on Fox News.