Real-estate mogul Donald Trump says that he is planning an “amazing” surprise in the opening moments of the Republican National Convention.
“I was asked to speak and I’m doing something else,” he told Fox’s Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. “It’s going to be quite exciting and hopefully quite amazing.”
While the billionaire host of the hit NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice,” declined to say exactly what the Aug. 27 surprise might be, he joked that he won’t be endorsing the re-election effort of President Obama, nor will the surprise be damaging to the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
“I will tell you I’m not supporting Obama,” he quipped. “I think that would be a major story if I announced I was. But I am not supporting him. I’m a big fan of Mitt.”
Trump said that RNC organizers “really wanted” him to speak during the Tampa convention. “And they also wanted me to do this. And I said, ‘I think the one would be appropriate.’ And I think it’s bigger than anything else I can think of and I agreed to do it,” he said. “You’ll see in those opening moments.”
He promised the surprise would be “quite exciting, quite good and very truthful.”
Trump also blasted a letter sent this week by a group of House Democrats to the Commission on Presidential Debates, which urges the commission to “avoid an unnecessarily narrow scope focused solely around proposals of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, aka the “Simpson-Bowles plan” during the upcoming presidential debates, according to a statement from the group.
The letter was signed by California’s Mike Honda, New York’s Jerrold Nadler and Illinois’ Janice Schakowsky.
“They should be somewhat ashamed of themselves. And it should certainly be a question for debate. There’s no question about that,” Trump countered to Cavuto, adding that the Obama campaign has been “unbelievably vicious” in its attacks.
“I think the debt commission is something that whether you like it or not, it’s here. It was Obama’s concept. It was his idea, and it’s amazing how he ran from it,” said Trump. “Basically, the Democrats don’t want to be forced into a position of having to lie.”
As Newsmax reported last week, Trump told the Romney campaign that he relished the role he plays as an independent voice and believes his support of the Romney campaign could be served in ways other than a major speaking role at the convention. He was also said to be mulling an offer from ABC to join Barbara Walters in her live coverage of election night this November.
On Aug. 26, Trump is slated to receive the Statesman of the Year award from the Republican Party of Sarasota County, Fla., and he was planning to remain for the convention’s opening festivities on the following day.
Trump’s people have told the Romney campaign that while he fully supports the Republican candidate’s presidential bid, he cannot spend the full week in Tampa due to pressing global business pursuits.
That focus is what kept Trump out of a presidential run, even though he catapulted to the lead of a presumed field of Republican candidates after he told Newsmax and other media that he was strongly considering a run.
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A Rasmussen poll in April 2011 had Trump leading the GOP field with 19 percent, ahead of Romney’s 17 percent.
Other more recent polls have shown that had Trump decided to run in a Ross Perot-style presidential bid, he would have started with a huge base of supporters – more than one-fifth of the electorate.
Despite not running, Trump has remained a thorn in the side of Barack Obama. Trump was successful in getting Obama to release his full birth certificate, which the president did last April. Since then, however, Trump has voiced skepticism of the document’s authenticity.