Donald Trump Said Republicans are the Dumbest Group of Voters-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

People magazine reported in 1998 that Donald Trump said Republican are the dumbest group of voters in the country and would “eat up” his lies if he ran for president.

The Truth:

Donald Trump didn’t say that Republicans are the dumbest group of voters in a 1998 interview.

The quote, which supposedly came from a 1998 People magazine story about Trump’s political aspirations, surfaced on social media in October 2015. A widely-shared meme shows a picture of Trump with this quote overlaid beneath:

“If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”

People magazine, 1998

 

We found several mentions of a possible Trump presidential bid in People magazine in the late 1990s — but we couldn’t find any instances of him calling Republicans “the dumbest group of voters in the country.”

After reporting on rumors that Trump was thinking about running for president on multiple occasions, People reported in December 1998 that Trump had announced plans to explore the possibility. The article didn’t cite any specifics about Trump’s platform or party affiliation, but it mentioned a meeting between Trump and Jesse Ventura, the leader of the Reform Party at the time:

Donald Trump declared Thursday he is moving toward a run for the U.S. presidency. “I will be forming a presidential exploratory committee,” Trump, 53, said on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” The New York real estate developer and New Jersey casino owner said his top choice as a running mate would be Oprah Winfrey. “She is terrific, ” he said. A Winfrey spokesperson said she is not interested. Trump, who claims he’ll pay his own campaign expenses, had dinner with Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura Thursday. Ventura, leader of the Reform Party, has been recruiting Trump for months to seek his party’s nomination — but after the meal the two men joked to reporters that they were throwing their support behind their dinner companion, actor Woody Harrelson.

Trump got a little more specific about his political views in the “Larry King Live” interview in which he announced that was forming a presidential exploratory committee. Trump said he was a registered Republican, described himself as a centrist, and talked about running on the Reform Party ticket, according to a transcript of the appearance:

I think that nobody is really hitting it right. The Democrats are too far left. I mean, Bill Bradley, this is seriously left; he’s trying to come a little more center, but he’s seriously left. The Republicans are too far right. And I don’t think anybody’s hitting the cord, not the cord that I want hear, and not the cord that other people want to hear, and I’ve seen it.

Plus, I think there’s a great lack of spirit in this country. You know, what happened over the last four years is disgusting, and I just think there’s a tremendous lack of spirit, and I think the spirit has to be brought back.

In the end, we couldn’t find any instances of Donald Trump saying that Republicans are the dumbest group of voters. We’re calling this rumor fiction.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 10/22/2015

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