The U.S. economy is "terrible" and the White House is lying about it, according to GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
In a collegial interview with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday, Trump told the one-time vice presidential candidate that "we have to make a lot of improvement," claiming "the White House is not truthful" about the state of the country's economy.
"Our current tax code is a joke," Palin said. What would Trump do about it? Simplify it, of course, and reduce taxes. But how? Palin didn't ask and Trump certainly didn't offer up solutions -- a recurring theme of Trump's candidacy, according to some critics.
He did say, however, that there are too many "hedge fund guys making a fortune" and not paying their fair share in taxes to the federal government -- a position unlikely to win the favor of small-government conservatives like GOP rivals Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, whom Palin also interviewed Friday on her show "On Point with Sarah Palin."
Framing himself as a champion of working Americans, Trump said, "The country was based on the middle class … and they are being treated horribly."
The same goes for veterans: "The vets have been treated terribly," he said. "If I win … believe me, the vets will be taken care of."
Asked about his heated interaction with Univision's Jorge Ramos at a press event earlier in the week -- something Palin called a "necessary confrontation" -- Trump said, "He was screaming and ranting and raving," but defended his own decorum, saying, "I never raised my voice or anything."
Palin's interviews with Cruz and Bush covered topics ranging from the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood -- something Cruz called "an ongoing nationwide criminal enterprise" -- to Hillary Clinton's email server scandal and the proposed Iran nuclear deal, which Cruz called "profoundly dangerous to our country."
Contrasting Bush with Clinton (whom Palin casually referred to as a "Socialist"), Palin said Bush's forthcoming e-book -- in which he promises to reveal some of the email correspondence from his time as governor of Florida -- is a sign of Bush's transparency.
"To get [Clinton's] emails, you need a subpoena," Bush said.