Donald Trump is prepping for his upcoming role as host of “Saturday Night Live” the only way he knows how: by boasting about his ratings — and insulting his Republican opponents.
The real estate mogul, who was replaced as host of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” following his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, says it’s no surprise NBC asked him to host “SNL.”
“You’re never at war when you get great ratings,” Trump said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “Nobody gets ratings like me.”
Trump, who first hosted “SNL” in 2004, dismissed Ben Carson’s criticism of his decision to host the sketch-comedy show while running for president, saying the retired neurosurgeon would have jumped at the opportunity but was never asked.
“Ben Carson would’ve done ‘Saturday Night Live’ in two seconds if they asked him,” he said.
And if Carson ever did host “SNL,” Trump said, “Nobody would watch.”
Why not? For the same reason Trump thinks Carson would be a terrible president: low energy.
Donald Trump at the “Saturday Night Live” 40th-anniversary broadcast on Feb. 15. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
“He will not be able to deal with China. He will not be able to deal with Iran. He will not be able to deal with any of the countries that are really abusing our country,” Trump said. “Because that’s not his thing. And, frankly, when you talk about energy, he’s got lower energy than Jeb Bush. If Ben gets in … I don’t know where Ben comes from, but if Ben got in, you would say, ‘Oh my God, we have ourselves a problem.’”
Carson, though, wasn’t Trump’s only target.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has seen his GOP stock rise following a standout performance in last week’s CNBC-hosted Republican debate, is “totally overrated,” Trump said. “He’s got debt on his credit card statements.”
Trump says he is in attack mode for one reason.
“I have 90 days left,” Trump said. “I want to win.”
He also addressed recent polls that show Carson has overtaken him in the race for the GOP nomination.
“Last week, we had ABC/Washington Post where I was way ahead, and that came out, and then CBS came out where I was slightly behind by I guess two points, and everybody thought it was bigger than the Benghazi story with Hillary Clinton,” Trump said. “And I said, ‘Well, what about the ABC/Washington Post poll?’ And they said, ‘Oh, well, we didn’t see that one.’ So I think, you know, it’s a pretty unfair playing field, but that’s OK.”
Trump added: “The bottom line is, it starts on February 1” — the date of the 2016 Iowa caucuses.
The brash billionaire hosts “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday.
While Trump’s “SNL” appearance has drawn threats of boycotts and protests by those offended by his litany of controversial comments, Democratic Sen. Al Franken, a former “SNL” writer and cast member, thinks he’ll do just fine.
“I think it’ll be an entertaining show,” Franken said Tuesday. “I watch the show whenever I can. I thought Hillary did great on it. I’ve known her for 20 years — she’s actually a really funny person and is going to make a great president.”