As the debate continues to rage regarding Donald Trump's authenticity as a conservative, an interview in which he praises Barack Obama has resurfaced.
During an April 2009 interview with Larry King, Trump offered effusive praise for President Obama:
"Well, I really like him. I think that he’s working very hard. He’s trying to rebuild our reputation throughout the world. I mean, we really have lost a lot of reputation in the world. The previous administration was a total disaster, a total catastrophe.
I think he’s sort of a guy that just has a wonderful personality, a good speaker, somebody that people trust... I think that he’s really doing a nice job in terms of representation of this country... I think he’s doing a really good job."
Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in December 2009, Trump also said:
“I think he's [Obama] doing great. I think Hillary's a great appointment. I think that some of the others are just great appointments... I think he's doing a great job.”
The statements in 2009 follow upon what Trump had said prior in an interview with NY1 in November 2008:
“I think he [Obama] has a chance to go down as a great president.”
However, in a 2011 interview with Sean Hannity, Trump reversed course:
“Look, he's been a horrible president. I always said the worst president was Jimmy Carter. Guess what? Jimmy Carter goes to second place. Barack Obama has been the worst president ever. The history of this country, Barack Obama is number one.”
This interview came on the heels of months of speculation as to whether Trump would make a run for the White House in 2012. Earlier that year, Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at which he implied he was considering a run:
“America is missing quality leadership. I am well acquainted with winning.”
Trump ultimately decided against the 2012 run, and instead endorsed Mitt Romney.