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Aug 20, 2015 12:37 AM

Steinhauser: Trump slams Education Dept., talks running mates, in exclusive interview with NH1 News

NH1 Political Director -

DERRY – Donald Trump says the Department of Education “has done a terrible job.”

Speaking exclusively with NH1 News, Trump also defended his proposal to deport the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, saying “the good ones will come back” legally.

And the Republican presidential front runner said “it’s far too early to be thinking about” a running mate, but did add that he liked Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump spoke one-on-one with NH1 News on Wednesday evening, minutes before taking the stage at a jam-packed town hall at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

Asked about his immigration plan, which has dominated all discussions in the race for the GOP presidential nomination this week, Trump said “they’re going to come back, the good ones will come back. They’ll come back legally. And we’ll work out an expedited method. And we’ll do something. But they have to. We have to run our country properly. No one even knows where they are, who they are. We don’t have a country. We don’t have a border. We don’t have a country. We need a border and we need people to come in. I want people to come in, but I want them to come in legally.”

Trump arrived in New Hampshire a couple of hours after six of his rivals spoke at an education summit that was held at the high school in Londonderry. At the event, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former business executive Carly Fiorina all criticized the Department of Education.

Asked to grade the Education Department, Trump said “I think they’ve done a terrible job, the Department of Education. We’re either 25 and 28 and 31. I mean look at all these different statistics. We are either among the worst in the world, and yet we fund more money per student than another other country by far in the world. So the Department of Education has done a terrible job. I happen to believe in local education. I do not believe in Common Core, like as you know some of my opponents or my other candidates.”

Asked if he meant anybody in particular, Trump responded “well Jeb Bush is totally in favor of Common Core. It’s a big mistake. It’s bureaucrats running this from Washington and it’s not appropriate so I’m very much against it.”

Trump remains the clear front runner in all the latest national polling, as well as the latest surveys in the Granite State and Iowa, in the race for the GOP nomiation. But Trump is far from the favorite of the party establishment. Asked if he feels that some in the GOP are trying to prevent him from winning the nomination, Trump said “I don’t really think so. I think they’ve been fine, and we’ll see what that’s all about. Certainly we outdrew Jeb Bush by thousands of people tonight. This is some crowd. This is an amazing crowd we have tonight. We’re just happy to see what’s happening. We’re happy to see the kind of response we’re getting.”

Trump touted during the town hall that more than 2,500 people attended the event, which was held at the same time that Bush headlined a town hall in Merrimack.

Asked if he’s thought about possible running mates such as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who are rivals for the nomination, Trump said “I like Ted Cruz. I like Dr. Carson. I like both of them. They’ve been very supportive of me. They’ve agreed with pretty much everything that I’ve said. Others have tried to get a little bit of publicity on my back. They haven’t.”

But he added that “it’s far too early to be thinking about vice president. I’m only thinking about let’s win first.”

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