I would beat Oprah in 2020: Trump

Ms Winfrey's rousing speech at the Golden Globes Awards ceremony ignited speculation that she is harbouring Oval Office ambitions.
Ms Winfrey's rousing speech at the Golden Globes Awards ceremony ignited speculation that she is harbouring Oval Office ambitions.

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump has weighed in on fevered speculation about a potential 2020 White House bid by Oprah Winfrey, saying she probably would not run against him, but if she did, he would win.

"I'll beat Oprah," Mr Trump said of the Oscar-nominated actress and talk show host on Tuesday.

"I like Oprah," he said, noting that he had appeared on her long-running afternoon programme. "I know her very well," he said, before adding: "I don't think she's going to run."

Ms Winfrey's rousing speech at Sunday's Golden Globes Awards ceremony ignited speculation that the billionaire talk show queen is harbouring Oval Office ambitions. Some Democrats - still reeling from Mrs Hillary Clinton's shock loss to Mr Trump in 2016 - have embraced the idea of having their own celebrity candidate. But there is little indication that the 63-year-old actually wants the job.

"I don't think at this point she is actually considering it," said Ms Winfrey's best friend Gayle King, who is also a television personality. "I also know, after years of watching the Oprah show, you always have the right to change your mind," she said.

White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also drawn into the speculation. Asked by a reporter whether she had any advice for an "outsider" considering a White House run, Ms Sanders said: "I'm not going to focus on anyone's campaign other than President Trump's re-election."

Ms Sanders was also questioned about a tweet from Ms Ivanka Trump praising Ms Winfrey's speech.

"Just saw @Oprah's empowering & inspiring speech at last night's #GoldenGlobes," Ms Trump tweeted Monday night. "Let's all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP #UNITED," she said in a reference to the campaign to end sexual harassment.

Ms Sanders said the message from the White House is that "everyone should come together".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2018, with the headline 'I would beat Oprah in 2020: Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe