Former General Electric chief Jack Welch said Thursday he plans to vote for the Republican who he thinks can win the presidency.
While refusing to commit to any candidate at this point, Welch said GOP frontrunner and billionaire businessman Donald Trump has touched a nerve. "He's saying things that a lot of us would like to say."
Trump is looking more serious day by day, but "is he a winner? I don't know," Welch said, because it's "too early" to tell.
One thing is for sure, according to Welch, "He has rallied Republicans. Look at the ratings. He's made it more interesting."
The Trump factor in last week's debate gave CNN a network-record 23.1 million viewers. Fox drew an audience of 24 million last month. CNBC sponsors the next Republican debate on Oct. 28.
"More people are looking. More people are evaluating [Trump] and the other candidates," Welch said—adding rising GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, a former CEO at Hewlett-Packard, has been the biggest surprise.
"She's done so much better than I ever would have dreamed in terms of her debating skills, her interviewing skills, her knowledge of the issues, her ability to articulate them," Welch said. "There hasn't been an interviewer yet that's stumped her. She's buried every one of them."
On the candidacy of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Welch said he's a "nice guy" from a "great family" who did great things for the Sunshine State. "But I don't think he's got enough 'stuff' to make the country change."
"I rather go out to dinner with [Christie] than just about anybody. But I'm not sure I want to vote for him," Welch said.
"The Republicans' biggest danger is trying to knock[Hillary Clinton] out. ... Hillary is beatable," argued Welch—saying Vice President Joe Biden, should he join the Democratic race, could be harder to beat than Clinton.
The bottom line, Welch said: "If you're a Republican you have to win. We've had an ineffectual Congress even though we won the two leadership positions."