Sneed: Trump talks debate prep and his dad

SHARE Sneed: Trump talks debate prep and his dad
SHARE Sneed: Trump talks debate prep and his dad

Stump the Trump . . .

Finally, a question Donald Trump couldn’t answer.

Sounding tired and quietly polite just two days before his Republican presidential debate, a soft-spoken Trump — his party’s front-runner — answered a few questions via phone late Tuesday afternoon.

Sneed: “Who would you choose to be you? Who would you select to be your bombastic Donald Trump sparring partner while practicing for the presidential debate Thursday night — if you were Jeb Bush and the other eight White House wannabes?

Trump: “Well, that’s a hard question.” (Silence for at least 30 seconds.)

Sneed: “Are you still there?”

Trump. “Yes. Well, I really can’t say. I can’t think of who would be me. I really don’t have an answer for that. I can’t guess who could be me.”

Sneed: “Well, then . . . who is the inspiration for your no-holds-barred style that has been described as akin to bullying by your critics?”

Trump: “Look, my father taught me a lot. He was a wonderful negotiator. A great guy. Very fair. I hope I would be thought of that way . . . and hopefully thought of as highly intelligent.”

“I am impatient, but I am not a bully. I just can’t stand politicians and people who are incompetent. I don’t suffer fools lightly.

“By the way, did you ever expect to see the poll numbers I am getting? Can you believe my numbers? Did you ever guess they’d be so high?”

Sneed: “I’m not surprised. Candor can be powerful. But I certainly did not agree with your negative assessment of [U.S. Sen.] John McCain not being a Vietnam War hero because he was a POW.”

Trump: “Why is that?”

Sneed: “Well, because I have a little history there. I’ve been a reporter for nearly 48 years and covered the return of nine Marine POWs who were imprisoned at the Hanoi Hilton shortly after their release and return to Camp Pendleton in the early 70s . . . and they all talked about their reverence for McCain and his heroism.”

Trump: “Oh. (Pause.) Well, I’ll be in Chicago in a few weeks and we’ll have a meeting.”

Looking forward to it.

Really.

Pew news . . .

Let’s have a meeting! Pope Francis has invited superagent Ari “Entourage” Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, to the Vatican this fall, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The pontiff apparently wants to improve the way the church is portrayed in entertainment and the western media. Oprah Winfrey, actor Matt Damon, andmedia moguls Brian Grazer and David Geffen have also been invited.

Pooch patrol . . .

Bow wow! City Treasurer Kurt Summers and his wife, Helen, take their 7-year-old schnauzer, Boston, to Comer Children’s Hospital twice a month.

• To wit: The little pooch, who wears a Harvard University collar, is a therapy dog for hospitalized children recovering from illness and injury. (He was recently asked to do bed visits at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.)

• The stats: The pup, who is named after the city where Kurt and Helen met while attending Harvard Business School, is part of the Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy organization, a group of about 200 dog therapy teams trained to promote healing and child rehab — and possesses an AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate.

I spy . . .

Florence and the Machineband membersIsabella SummersandTom Mongerwere spotted at Chicago Cut Steakhouse Saturday night . . . Singer Kelly Clarkson dined at Gibsons Steakhouse after her performance at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont Friday . . . Hall of fame football coach Marv Levy celebrated his 90thbirthday Tuesday night at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse River North with his wife, Fran.

Sneedlings . . .

Congrats to Eric Hermanand wife,Vanessa, on welcoming son No. 3, Theodore Remick, to the family last week. The wee Ted is named after President Theodore Roosevelt, after which the Teddy Bear is named. Why do I see one in Ted’s new crib? . . .Thursday’s birthdays: Vera Farmiga, 42; Soleil Moon Frye, 39, and M. Night Shyamalan, 45.

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