11 Jan 2016
Washington, DC

Donald Trump is in to win it. So much so that during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, he had a special message for all those who doubted him during this presidential campaign: he’s a winner.

Just weeks away from the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, Trump is in prime position to seal the nomination—and may just pull off what everyone in the permanent political class in Washington, D.C., and on the island of Manhattan thought was impossible.

“My life has been about winning. I like to win. I like to close the deal,” Trump said when asked Monday afternoon what he thinks of all the people this whole election cycle who thought he wasn’t a serious presidential candidate.

“I’ve had that kind of a life—I’ve built a great company. And don’t forget when I filed the papers, everybody said ‘wow, that’s much more than we thought’ when I filed my federal papers on financials because it’s over $10 billion, substantially over $10 billion in net worth. I started with a very small amount of money and grew it into something that’s massive, one of the big fortunes, and I want to use that same brainpower—that same ability—to make our nation great again. We’ll be able to do it. The people are so amazing. The thing I have been most impressed with during my trips all over is just how smart the public is. They’re incredible. They really, really get it. So, I’m honored by your question actually because you’re right a lot of people said ‘oh, he’s never going to run and if he runs he’ll just have fun for a little while.’ This is not fun. I want to do something and our theme is Make America Great Again and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Trump is back on top in Iowa, with a new Quinnipiac poll showing him ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a statistical tie. That poll shows Trump at 31 percent, with a two point lead over Cruz’s 29 percent, a difference which is inside the margin of error.

Cruz had been dominating Iowa since early December, but a Trump win in the Hawkeye State would make it very difficult for anyone — including Cruz to dislodge Trump’s towering and in many-cases-20-points-strong lead in New Hampshire.

That means if Trump wins Iowa, he’s pretty much a lock for the GOP nomination—as he’ll likely hold New Hampshire, and then storm into South Carolina and win there.

If Cruz comes back in Iowa and regains his footing before the caucuses a few weeks from now, he could really be the only candidate to have a serious shot at stopping Trump. While many in the political establishment previously thought Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) would have a shot at stopping Trump and winning the nomination, new polling shows over and over that Rubio hasn’t been catching fire the way Beltway insiders had hoped.

“I’m doing great in New Hampshire, winning by a lot as you know,” Trump told Breitbart News. “In Iowa, a new Quinnipiac poll just came out and I’m leading 31 to 29 there. I think we’re going to do very well in Iowa. I’m doing well with Evangelicals and I’m doing well with the Tea Party. I think we’re going to do very well in Iowa. I love the people. I’m going to go back there in two days and spend a lot of time in Iowa. I’ve got tremendous friendships there.”

Ahead of the next debate, which will be later this week in Charleston, South Carolina, Trump told Breitbart News he won’t be changing anything in the way of how he prepares for the stage. The stage will be a lot thinner this time around, as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have both been bumped off the main stage by Fox Business Network due to polling slips.

“I’m going to do I guess what I’ve been doing—I don’t want to change too much for these debates,” Trump said. “According to every single online poll, I’ve won every debate—Drudge online, Time Magazine, Slate, Public Broadcasting Systems. Every single one of these online polls had me winning the debates, every one. So we’re going to just keep the same system—whatever I did, I’m going to keep doing the same.”

Trump’s latest high-profile endorsement comes from Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, who said Trump is the GOP base’s only hope to defeat “the kingmakers”—the establishment and donor class figures who have been pushing people like Rubio because of his support for granting illegal aliens amnesty and for wide open borders policies on immigration and trade.

Schlafly—now 91—is an icon in the conservative movement. She has been battling the political establishment for more than half a century, fighting against the institutional left and donor-class efforts to control education, immigration and more.

“I have such respect for her,” Trump told Breitbart News of Schlafly. “She is an amazing woman. I’ve watched her for years and she is somebody I’ve really looked up to. She’s an amazing woman. I was so honored to see that—it couldn’t have been nicer. She really is an incredible woman.”

More from Trump’s exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Monday is forthcoming.