Trump Defines 'Conservative': 'A Person That Doesn't Want to Take...Risks; A Person That Wants to Conserve'

By Susan Jones | January 25, 2016 | 6:33am EST
Republican Donald Trump on the campaign trail. (AP File Photo)

( - "What is your definition of conservative?" CBS's John Dickerson, host of "Face the Nation," asked Donald Trump on Sunday.

"Well, I think it's a person that doesn't want to take overly risks. I think that's a good thing," Trump responded.

"I think it's a person that wants to -- in terms of government I'm talking about -- a person that wants to conserve, a person that wants to, in a financial sense, balance budgets, a person that feels strongly about the military. And I feel very strongly about the military.

"And you have some of these people, they don't even want to focus on the military. Our military is falling apart. I feel very, very -- and I have always felt very, very strongly about the military.

"By the way, if you look at vision, when you look at the word vision, I was the one that said take the oil (from ISIS). I have been saying that for years. And I said take the oil, let's take the oil. And nobody would listen. Then, all of a sudden, after Paris (terror attack), they started saying, maybe that's right, we will take the oil. They still don't do it the proper way.

"And I was -- which is a little bit different than a normal conservative, but I was very much opposed to the war in Iraq. A lot of these guys were all for the war in Iraq. Look what's that has got us.

"We spent $2 trillion. We lost thousands of lives. We have nothing. We're now handing Iraq over, just handing it over to Iran. Iran is going to take over Iraq. And I said that was going to happen. I said that years ago, 2003, 2004, that Iran will take over Iraq with the largest oil reserves in the world.

"And that's not a conservative position. When I was saying, don't go into Iraq, I'm a very militaristic person. I'm very much into the military, and will build our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before. But -- and that's safe. That's actually the cheapest thing to do, as opposed to what we have right now.

"But I was opposed to the war in Iraq. Most conservatives were, let's go, gung-ho. These guys, just about all of them, every one of them wanted the war in Iraq. Look what it got us."

Trump said when political opponents criticize  him for not being a consistent conservative, "I just evoke the name Ronald Reagan.

"I mean, Ronald Reagan was a fairly liberal Democrat, and he evolved over years and he became more and more conservative. And he was not a very conservative person, but he was pretty conservative. And he ended up being a great president.

"And I have evolved on many issues. And there are some issues, I'm very much the same. I have been constant on many issues. But I have evolved on certain issues, and I think evolved through experience and through, as you grow older, you see things, and you watch things, and you study things.

"But Ronald Reagan was the exact same thing. He was actually much more liberal than I was. He was fairly liberal as a Democrat, believe -- a lot of people don't know that. And he became a fairly conservative person, but he did become a great president."

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