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Trump hits Obama -- and Romney on policy

From NBC's Jason Seher
Donald Trump spent the weekend pushing his "common sense" agenda and attacking his potential opponents. 

Appearing on CNN's “State of the Union,” the New York business tycoon told host Candy Crowley that GOP primary voters will prefer him to declared Republican candidate Mitt Romney because, according to Trump, he has a much more substantial track record of creating jobs and generating profits.

"I'm a much bigger business man," Trump said Sunday. "And I have a much, much bigger net worth. My net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney," Trump said.

Trump repeatedly criticized Romney's business background throughout the interview, first calling him a "fund guy" before asserting the former Massachusetts governor "didn't create" jobs. Before launching his political career, Romney co-founded and led Bain Capital, now one of the nation's top private-equity firms. According to a 2007 New York Times article, under Romney the group specialized in leveraged buyouts -- buying existing firms with money borrowed against their assets -- that sometimes led to layoffs. During his 1994 Senate bid, Romney's opponent, Ted Kennedy, cut a series of commercials focusing on laid-off workers. Now Trump is summoning those charges to hit Romney.

"He would buy companies," Trump said. "He'd close companies, he'd get rid of jobs."

Even though he will not announce if he is running for president until his reality television show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” finishes airing in June, Trump said his ability to put people to work and make deals is not only "what this country needs" -- but also distinguishes from potential primary foes like Romney and President Obama. Trump made it a point to dress down Obama's position on every policy point Crowley raised, blaming the president for mishandling the crisis in Libya and for allowing China to manipulate its currency without reprisal.

"It's the messenger," Trump told Crowley. "Obama is not the right messenger. We are not a respected nation anymore. The world is laughing at us."

While he focused strictly on Obama's policies Sunday, in an interview aired Friday night, Trump told FOX’s Sean Hannity he believes former Weatherman Bill Ayers authored the president’s first book, “Dreams From My Father.”
 
"Bill Ayers wrote the book," Trump said, though not providing any evidence Ayers wrote it.

Trump claimed the president "made a big mistake" by publishing his second book, "The Audacity of Hope," insisting its inferior narrative quality raises serious questions about whether the president wrote the best-selling memoir he published in 1995, prior to launching his political career.  Referencing his best-selling books -- including “The Art of the Deal” -- Trump asserted former Obama mentor and "super-genius" Bill Ayers is the true author of Dreams From My Father. 

"I know something about writing," Trump told Hannity, "and I want to tell you, the guy that wrote the first book didn't write the second book.  Obama made a big mistake when we wrote the second book because the second book was not Ernest Hemmingway; it was about 37 classes below. So, the first book is Ernest Hemingway-plus. The second book was written by somebody that was much more average."

In his conversation, Trump also reaffirmed his commitment to investigating President Obama's birth, saying he has "a real doubt" Obama was born in Hawaii. While Trump acknowledged he originally "assumed he was born here," Trump said he will continue to investigate Obama's birth certificate until he finds a satisfactory answer.  Trump also said journalists give the president a "free ride," and accused unnamed media members of protecting Obama from these issues.

"I have some reporters," Trump said, "you could see they are visibly angry at me for even bringing [the birther] thing up."