By REBECCA BALLHAUS – – – –
Republican front-runner Donald Trump brushed off President Barack Obama‘s jokes about his foreign-policy chops, saying he has more overseas experience than “virtually” any other presidential candidate.
In an interview with CNN’s “New Day” , Mr. Trump was asked to respond to President Barack Obama’s remarks about him at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president,” he said. “But in fairness he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan.” Mr. Trump is a former partial owner of the Miss Universe organization.
In the CNN interview, Mr. Trump defended his foreign-policy chops.
“I do deal with leaders around the world; I’ve built a great company and I deal around — right now, we have hundreds of deals being negotiated all over the world by my company, and I deal with presidents, and I deal with prime ministers. I deal with everybody,” he said.
He added: “I probably have more experience than virtually anybody looking at this office, and I make money.”
Mr. Trump’s rivals include two U.S. senators, a former secretary of state who was also a two-term senator, and a governor who previously served in Congress for nearly two decades.
During his Saturday night remarks Correspondents’ Dinner speech, Mr. Obama also mocked Mr. Trump for declining invitations to attend the event.
“You’ve got a room full of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no?” Mr. Obamasaid. “Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald?”
Mr. Trump told CNN he didn’t attend because he thought reporters would say he didn’t enjoy himself. (Two of Mr. Trump’s sons did attend the dinner, one of whom—Donald Trump Jr.—was a guest of The Wall Street Journal.)
“No matter how great a time that I would have, it wouldn’t matter. They will say, ‘Donald Trump was humiliated. Donald Trump had a miserable time,’” he said. “That’s what they did last time. I had really a great time.”
In 2011, Mr. Obama mocked Mr. Trump’s fixation on his birth certificate, which the White House had released earlier that day. Some of the president’s opponents had questioned whether he was born in the U.S., and Mr. Trump had seized upon the issue as he mulled a presidential campaign.
In his speech at the 2011 dinner, Mr. Obama joked, “No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing?”
Mr. Trump, sitting in the audience that night, looked unamused in C-SPAN’s video of the speech, but later said he had a good time.