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US Must Become Rich Again to Be Respected: Trump

The United States is a debtor nation and will never "become a great country again until we become a rich country," Donald Trump told CNBC Thursday.

Jeffrey Coolidge | Iconica | Getty Images

"Our country’s in tremendous trouble," the real estate mogul said, referring to trillions of dollars in debt, outsourced jobs to India and Chinese currency manipulation leading to the loss of U.S. jobs.

"They can't believe what they're getting away with," Trump said of the Chinese, adding, "These people are not our friends, they are our enemy."

The Chinese "have to respect you. We are not respected," he added.

In November Trump told CNBC he would be announcing which Republican presidential candidate he'd endorse in a month, but that was before he agreed to moderate a GOP debate Dec. 27. So far only "two or three" of the candidates said they'd participate, including Newt Gingrich, who met with Trump in New York Monday.

One who won't be there will be Jon Huntsman, who called the Trump-moderated debate "a joke." Trump called Huntsman "a nice man" who wasn't participating because "he's got low numbers."

Asked if he could endorse any contender who doesn't come to the debate — Mitt Romney, for instance — Trump said "it could be possible."

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