Republican front-runner Donald Trump starred in his own town-hall event Wednesday only days before South Carolina voters head to the polls for the GOP primary.
Highlights of the event: Trump said he would have beaten Obama if he had run for the White House in 2012, and he hopes Clinton wins the Democratic Party nomination "just because I'd love to beat Hillary."
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Trump also said Clinton should be indicted for her Emailgate scandal, but she may escape unscathed if "Democrats are protecting her."
He called Sen. Ted Cruz "a nasty guy" during the event, and the anti-establishment candidate learned he has some things in common with Democrat Bernie Sanders.
The town hall was hosted by MSNBC. "Morning Joe" hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough moderated the event. The exclusive Trump event aired in tandem with a CNN town-hall event featuring GOP presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio.
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Obama 'one of the worst presidents in history'
Asked for his thoughts on President Obama's statement that he will never be president, Trump responded, "I'll tell you what, if I would have run four years ago, he wouldn't be president right now. … You know, it's very interesting with President Obama. He's going to go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of this country. He's been a disaster on the military. We can't beat ISIS. He's been a disaster on health care, because Obama[care] has got to be repealed and replaced. ... Rates are going up. Your premiums are going up, 25, 35, 45, 55 percent. "
Watch Trump's comments on Obama:
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He also told a black entrepreneur that Obama has done "nothing" to lower high unemployment rates within the black community or make life easier on its small-business owners.
Trump also reiterated his threats to sue Cruz over a campaign ad that shows Trump calling himself "very pro-choice."
"I've had great success with lawsuits," he said. "I've had great success in things I do, and I don't know that we're going to have a lawsuit. We certainly want to keep somebody honest. Like as an example, I'm pro-life and he said, 'He's not pro-life.' He can't say that."
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Trump said he was fond of Cruz until the Iowa caucuses earlier this month.
"What he did to Ben Carson, I thought was disgraceful in Iowa," he said. "When he said, '[Carson] was out of the race,' I thought that was bad. I thought the voter fraud document he did was horrendous. And he's told lies. He tells lies."
Watch Trump's comments on attacking other candidates:
Trump vs. Sanders
Then Brzezinski tricked Trump.
She described a presidential candidate who taps into voter anger, spreads a populist message, draws massive crowds at rallies, wants to make hedge-fund managers pay more in taxes and believes everyone should have health care.
She asked Trump, "Who am I describing?"
"You're describing Donald Trump," Trump said confidently.
But Brezinski responded, "Actually, I was describing Bernie Sanders. Is it insulting? Because there are some similarities."
Then Trump replied, "There's one thing we're very similar in: He knows our country is being ripped off big league — big league — on trade.
"The problem is he can't do anything about it," Trump said, charging that Sanders "doesn’t understand what's happening" with America in regard to trade. Trump said he is confident he can beat Sanders in a general election.
Still, Trump said, he'd much rather run against Clinton "just because I'd love to beat Hillary."
Will Trump have 'friends' on the Hill?
Scarborough moved to the issue of civility and asked Trump: "What happens if you're president of the United States and you don't have friends on the Hill?"
"We have to win," Trump said. "You're so worried about being nice and being politically correct. ... Our country is not winning."
Watch Trump's response when the MSNBC moderators ask him if he has "the temperament to be president":
Asked if he thinks Hillary will be indicted for her Emailgate scandal, Trump said, "I think maybe she will, but I think if she isn't indicted, it's because the Democrats are protecting her."
A man identified as a registered Democrat asked how Trump planned to set himself apart from Cruz and Rubio.
"I'm a better leader. I'm going to bring the country together far better than they're going to do, far better than they're going to do."
Trump continued, "You look at a guy like Ted Cruz, he's a nasty guy. He doesn't have one Republican endorsement from the Senate, and he works with the Senate. Think of it. Hard to believe. Not one senator has endorsed him and he's a senator."
Then Trump criticized Cruz for his 21-hour marathon speech on the floor of the Senate in September 2013. The Texas senator had vowed to "speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand."
Trump continued, "It's fine to stand on the floor of the Senate for a day or two days and have everybody else in the Senate laughing at you and you do nothing. I mean, he accomplished nothing with that. He went out and talked and talked for two days. He filibustered for two days. He got nothing out of it."
Watch Trump's comments on Cruz:
Trump also said, "I will bring the country together, I will take care of our country. I will make our country rich again."
He said America must start paying down its debt.
The GOP front-runner was asked: How do you respond to the economists who say your policies will add trillions to the national debt?
"They're wrong," Trump said. "My policies are gonna reduce taxes, OK? And the taxes are going to bring jobs back, and we're gonna bring jobs back into the country big league, and we're going to have a dynamic economy again."
Asked if running for president is "worth it," Trump said, "I could be some place else."
But, he said, "It's been probably the most interesting experience of my life."
Repeal and replace Obamacare
Once he repeals Obamacare, what will he replace it with?
Trump explained, "Health-care savings plans, one way. We have to get rid of the lines between states. I do tremendous health care. I have so many employees. I've employed tens of thousands of people. I built an unbelievable business."
Scarborough told Trump, "There is a guarantee now that all Americans get health care. ... Are you going to guarantee all Americans health care?"
Trump responded, "Joe, Americans aren't getting health care right now. .."
Scarborough cut him off, adding, "This has been a fight within the Republican Party and what it means to be conservative, but you have constantly said even in New Hampshire, the 'Live Free or Die' state, that every Americans should get health care. Is that your position?"
"That's not what I said," Trump said. "We're going to have great plans. They're going to be much less expensive and they're going to be much better because the Obama plan is unaffordable. And it's a disaster. And by the way, in '17, it's going to die unless the Republicans continue to fund money. It's not affordable by the country. Not affordable by people. But what I say is this, we're going to have great plans.
"But there will be a group of people that is not doing well, that has no money. We cannot let them die in the streets. And we'll work out either through Medicare, which we'll save, or something. We will work out a plan where, instead of having people dying in the streets ... we've got to work out a deal with a hospital or with somebody in that community where if somebody is sick, really sick, and they don't have housing ... we can't let them die. We're going to take care of them. We have to take care of them. That's not single payer. That's just human decency."
Watch Trump's statements on his health-care plans:
Crowd boos Haley at Trump rally
Also on Wednesday, Trump held a rally in South Carolina where he accused the state's governor, Nikki Haley, of being weak on immigration.
Only hours after Haley had endorsed Rubio, the crowd in her home state booed their governor.
"Nikki Haley gave a speech a couple weeks ago ..." Trump began, but he was cut short by the jeering crowd.
"Yeah, it's not good," he said. "It's not good. First of all, she's very weak on illegal immigration. Very weak. Very, very weak. She's very weak on illegal immigration. You can't have that. We need strong, strong immigration policies."
Trump recalled that Haley, in her January response to Obama's State of the Union speech, said Republicans shouldn't listen to the "angriest voices" in the party. Haley admitted she was referring to Trump when she made that statement.
But Trump said Haley is correct: He is angry. And he won't apologize.
"I'm angry, I'll be honest," Trump said at the Wednesday rally. "And so are the people that follow me, because we have the most loyal people, and the people that follow Trump are angry. They're angry.
"Remember this: We're not angry people. But you get upset and you get angry when you see such gross stupidity and incompetence."
Trump's campaign 'literally unstoppable'
On Wednesday, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle said Trump's campaign is "literally unstoppable."
"[I]t's literally unstoppable," he said. "I've never, ever, encountered anything like it in my life covering politics, writing about politics. I've never heard of anything like it. [Trump's campaign] is all-consuming with the crowds that gather in front of him. He can literally, as he indicated a couple weeks ago, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and he can get away with it."
Also on Wednesday came news that Trump had fallen behind Cruz in a new national poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal. The poll, conducted Feb. 14-16, shows Cruz with 28 percent and Trump with 26 percent.
Trump said, "I have never done well in the Wall Street Journal poll. I think somebody at the Wall Street Journal doesn't like me."
Another USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday shows Trump would beat Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head match-up by a 45-43 margin.
Fresh from his landslide victory in New Hampshire, Trump risked rubbing his supporters the wrong way when he attacked former President George W. Bush on South Carolina's GOP debate stage Saturday.
Some called the South Carolina event the most acrimonious debate in memory. The brawling candidates viciously tried to wound each other ahead of this weekend's South Carolina primary.
At the MSNBC town hall, Trump said, "I thought I did great in that debate. I thought it was good. I was being hit from every side. It was tough."
Some said it was apparent the audience was stacked with GOP loyalists who disapproved of the non-establishment candidates. They gave tremendous cheers and applause for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, while booing Trump frequently.
Fireworks erupted between Bush and Trump on the subject of former President Bush and his role in destabilizing the Middle East. Trump called the war in Iraq a "big fat mistake."
The two candidates locked horns for the second time when Trump took a swing at one of his favorite subjects of ridicule – the Bush family.
"I am sick and tired of him going after my family," Bush began in response, going on to say that, "While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe."
Trump interrupted, pointing out that 9/11 happened while George W. Bush was in office – and the billionaire was greeted with a round of angry boos.
MSNBC host asked Trump during Wednesday's town hall if believed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in 2003, but the billionaire said it was the CIA's job to know.
"The government should have known," said Trump. He then said the reason why there aren't more headlines on his opposition to the Iraq War is because he wasn't concerned with politics at that time.
The Feb. 13 debate took place only hours after America learned of the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Trump called Scalia’s passing a “tremendous blow to conservatism.”
Responding to a question about appointing Justice Scalia’s replacement, Trump had some advice to those interested in protecting Scalia’s legacy of conservatism: “Delay, delay, delay.”