This possible future presidential debate is based on segments from actual interview transcripts involving President Obama and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on April 14, 2011, and Donald Trump and Stephanopoulos on April 18, 2011.
The interview segments used in this “debate” have been repositioned slightly but without the altering of any real content. However, the questions from the moderator are fictionalized.
Moderator: Mr. President, do you believe America is on the decline?
Obama: You know countries used to look up to America as an example of a modern, well-functioning society, and now it seems like they have bigger plans then we do. That’s not the America I want to live in.
Moderator: And Mr. Trump, do you believe America is on the decline?
Trump: I look at what’s going on with our country. We’re like a third world nation.
This country is in such trouble. If you look at what China’s doing to us. If you look, I mean, look at what’s going on with gasoline prices. They’re going to go to $5, $6, $7 a gallon and we don’t have anybody in Washington that calls OPEC and says, “Fellas, it’s time. It’s over. You’re not going to do it anymore.” They’re not our friends. They wouldn’t even be there if it wasn’t for us.
Moderator: President Obama, why should the people vote to re-elect you?
Obama: Ultimately the American people understand this is a serious, sober time. They want an optimistic vision. That’s what this election is going to be about.
Moderator: Mr. Trump, why should the American people vote to elect you and do you think you will win?
Trump: Oh, I’m sure I will. You know what they get with me?
They get a guy that’s not going to let the world rip off the United States.
The world is ripping us off. I hate it.
Moderator: Mr. President, are you concerned about the strength of your opponent on the other side?
Obama: Right now I have such a big day job that I am not yet focused on what’s happening on the other side.
Moderator: Mr. Trump, how would you describe the state of our nation?
Trump: Ripped off by everybody because we have poor leadership.
Because we have people that don’t know what they’re doing.
Moderator: Mr. President, how do you think the American people envision their ideal president?
Obama: They want one that unifies the country, and more important than anything else, they want some answers to how we’re going to get the economy moving.
Moderator: Isn’t that what you have been trying to do for almost 4 years?
Obama: My suspicion is that anybody who is not addressing those questions is going to be in trouble.
Moderator: Mr. Trump, do you think you would have any difficulty going from private businessman to president of the United States?
Trump: You know, unlike other people I’ve really been public all my life.
I’ve done a good job. I’ve built a great company. I mean it’s magnificent.
I’m going to disclose all this stuff. And they will be amazed at how big it is, how strong it is, how much cash there is. It’s a great company. I’d love to show my tax returns. I may tie the release of my tax returns to Obama releasing his birth certificate.
I think that people see me as somebody that loves this country. But maybe even more importantly I will not let our great nation be ripped off by so many others.
I think they see that. They think I am a smart guy.
Moderator: Mr. President, does criticism bother you?
Obama: Some of it will be settled by the America people in the election.
That is how democracy should work.
Moderator: Mr. Trump, does criticism bother you?
Trump: Next question. You’re not doing your job very well.
You’ve been co-opted by Obama.
Moderator: Finally, what would you like to say to the American people?
Obama: To make very clear to the American people that we have a choice.
Moderator: Mr. Trump, any final words to the American people?
Trump: I had two divorces. And they were very good women.
And I always say about that — they were excellent women, terrific women.
But you know what? I work so hard and so long that it’s almost unfair to women.
But isn’t what this county wants — don’t — you think the country wants somebody that works long and hard and smart, maybe above all smart?
So I think the reason I am doing so well in all the polls, where I am leading most of ‘em is that they see me stopping this onslaught from other people taking advantage of the county. Cause I’ll tell you something, if I win, people will not be ripping off the United States any longer.