10 Outrageous Donald Trump Quotes From the 2016 Presidential Election

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump's campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination was occasionally perplexing, often controversial but always entertaining. There's a reason some news organizations relegated coverage of the ultrawealthy businessman to its entertainment pages.

The milestones in Trumps's campaign, though, were the outrageous and controversial comments he made with the intention of generating news coverage - whether positive or negative. As the old saying goes: "All publicity is good publicity."

Indeed, Trump's popularity rarely suffered and often surged following many of these remarks.

Trump's Most Outrageous Statements During the 2016 Election

Here's a list of Trump's 10 most outrageous and controversial statements on the campaign trail for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

1. Picking a Fight With the Pope

It's not every politician who will take on the Pope. But Trump isn't your average politician. And he had no trouble taking a shot at the man admired by tens of millions of Catholics and Christians across the worlds. It all started, though, when Pope Francis was asked about Trump's candidacy in February 2016. Said the Pope: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Not a Christian?

Trump didn't take kindly to the Pope's remarks and said the pontiff would believe differently if ISIS were to attempt violence against the Vatican. “If and when the Vatican is attacked, the pope would only wish and have prayed that Donald Trump would have been elected president,” Trump said.

2. Blaming Bush for Terrorist Attacks

Trump was jeered during a February 2016 Republican presidential debate when he attacked former President George W. Bush, who was in office during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It's a line of attack he's used many times.

"You talk about George Bush, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time. He was president, okay? Don't blame him or don't blame him, but he was president, the World Trade Center came down during his reign," Trump said.

3. Banning Muslims From Entering the U.S.

Trump enraged when he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what’s going on” in December 2015.

Wrote Trump:

"Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again." 

Trump's call for a temporary ban following a claim that he witnessed Arab Americans cheering the fall of the World Trade Center towers in New York City after they were attacked on Sept. 11th, 2001. “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering,” Trump said, though no one else saw such a thing.

4. On Illegal Immigration

Another of Trump's controversial remarks of the 2016 presidential campaign came on June 17, 2015, when he announced he was seeking the Republican nomination. Trump managed to infuriate Hispanics and further alienate his party from minorities with these lines:

"The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

5. On John McCain and Heroism

Trump got under the skin of the Republican U.S. senator from Arizona by questioning his status as a war hero. McCain was a prisoner of war for more than five years during the Vietnam war. He also enraged other POWs with these remarks about McCain:

“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured."

6. The Cell Phone Incident

One of the goofiest things Trump did was give out the personal cell phone number for Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina during a rally there. Trump claimed the lawmaker had called him "begging" for a good reference to be on Fox. Trump, holding up Graham's number on a sheet of paper, read the number before a crowd of supporters and said:

"He gave me his number and I found the card, I wrote the number down. I don't know if it's the right number, let's try it. Your local politician, he won't fix anything but at least he'll talk to you."

7. Mexico and The Great Wall

Trump proposed building a physical barrier between the United States and Mexico and then forcing our neighbors to the south to reimburse us for construction. Some experts, however, said Trump's plan to make his wall impenetrable along the 1,954-mile border would be extraordinarily expensive and, in the end, is possible. Nonetheless, says Trump:

"I will build a great wall. And nobody does walls better than me. Very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall."


Not wanting to put too fine a point on his wealth, the Trump campaign announced in a July 2015 filing with the Federal Election Commission that:

"As of this date, Mr. Trump‟s net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.”

Yes, the Trump campaign used capital letters to stress his net worth. But we don't really know, and probably never will know, what Trump is really worth. That's because federal election laws don't require candidates to disclose the exact value of their assets. Instead, they require office-seekers to provide only an estimated range of wealth.

9. Picking a Fight With Megyn Kelly

Trump faced some pretty direct questions about his treatment of women from Fox News journalist and debate moderator Megyn Kelly in August 2015. After the debate, Trump went on the attack. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her ... wherever," Trump told CNN, apparently suggesting she was menstruating during the debate.

10. Hillary Clinton's Bathroom Break

Clinton was a few moments late getting back onstage during a December 2015 televised debate with her Democratic presidential rivals because she had gone to the bathroom. Yes, Trump attacked her for it. "I know where she went. It's disgusting, I don't want to talk about it. No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it, it's disgusting," he told a cheering crowd of supporters.

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Murse, Tom. "10 Outrageous Donald Trump Quotes From the 2016 Presidential Election." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/most-outrageous-trump-quotes-3367569. Murse, Tom. (2023, April 5). 10 Outrageous Donald Trump Quotes From the 2016 Presidential Election. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/most-outrageous-trump-quotes-3367569 Murse, Tom. "10 Outrageous Donald Trump Quotes From the 2016 Presidential Election." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/most-outrageous-trump-quotes-3367569 (accessed June 1, 2023).