Real estate mogul Donald Trump said Friday he'd consider running for president — again — if the U.S. economy "continues to be bad: and "if the Republicans pick the wrong candidate."
"I would give it very, very serious thought," he told CNBC. "There are so many people wanting me to do it."
The Trump Organization president did not say on which party line he'd run if he didn't like the Republican candidate.
But he said congressional Republicans have a great opportunity to "negotiate a great, great deal, but they can’t be weak." He said that any deal to raise the debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline should involve cutting considerable government waste, including repealing the Obama health-care law, which he called "a disaster."
What he doesn't want is a default, he said.
"I don’t advocate default," he said. "What I do say is you can’t be afraid [of a default]. This is the time to settle the problems of years and years of abuse. This is the time for the Republicans to get the country back on track. The Republicans have the cards, the president does not have the cards."
As he did when he considered a presidential run earlier this year, Trump blamed a lot of the problems in the U.S. economy on "foolish leaders" who allow other countries — principally China and the members of OPEC — to steal jobs and keep the U.S. over an expensive oil barrel.
"People don’t respect us any longer, they don’t respect our leaders. With all these foreign countries taking advantage of the U.S., unless somebody addresses that problem we’re never going to be great again," Trump said.
He also railed against overregulation and federal bureaucrats who, he claims, are "sitting around doing nothing. It's just like featherbedding...It's absolutely sinful."
Trump added, "you have to cut, cut, cut. I see the waste. I do a lot of business with the government and it’s not fun."