03/06/2014 04:04 pm ET Updated Mar 06, 2014

Donald Trump At CPAC: 'Our Leadership Is So Weak And So Pathetic'

John Moore via Getty Images

Donald Trump gave a rambling speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on foreign policy, debt, immigration and the "late, great Jimmy Carter" -- who is, in fact, still alive.

"[President Barack Obama's] disapproval rating is 54 percent -- when you think about it, it's sort of inconceivable," Trump said. "We're getting into Jimmy Carter territory, and I never thought I'd see anything like that again. I lived through that time, and it was not a good time. We're pretty close. I think maybe by next month we will have surpassed the late, great Jimmy Carter."

Trump's speech focused on what he called President Barack Obama's failure of leadership, tying it to the conflict in Ukraine and China's recent currency decisions.

"Our leadership is so weak and so pathetic that they could get away with it, and believe me, they're taking our jobs," Trump said of China. "And China's not the only one. You look at other countries, they're doing the same thing. They have no respect for our leader."

Trump implied he knows how to deal with the Chinese better than the president, talking up his business there.

"I knock the hell out of China fairly, and my friends [in China] respect me for it," he said. "They love anything Trump, my apartments, my ties -- they love me. ... They respect you if you're smart. They don't respect stupid people."

Trump blamed weak leadership for economic problems in the U.S., which he said is becoming like a third-world country because it's falling apart.

"We have so many problems," he said, "and we have so little leadership."



Donald Trump