- The Washington Times - Monday, October 19, 2015

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump predicted Monday that there will be a ratings bonanza for “Saturday Night Live” when he hosts the program next month, saying the show’s organizers are too smart to give in to a budding movement to get him off the air.

“Frankly, I think the ratings are going to be through the roof,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” “[SNL executive] Lorne Michaels is a very smart guy; NBC are very smart people.”

“If they want to do a show with a third of the ratings, they might do that,” Mr. Trump said when asked if they were going to drop him. “No, I don’t see that at all.”

America’s Voice, a leading Hispanic advocacy group, and MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group, have launched a petition for NBC to drop Mr. Trump from his scheduled Nov. 7 appearance, citing his “insulting remarks” about Mexican immigrants.

Mr. Trump said such groups are “out for themselves,” that he’s leading in polls among Hispanics, and that he employs thousands of Hispanics.

Mr. Trump also said NBC was “begging” him to continue to host “The Apprentice,” but that he couldn’t do it because he’s running for president.

“And by the way, they’d take me right now and they’d get rid of Arnold Schwarzenegger if I wanted to do it, that I can tell you,” he said, referring to the actor and recently announced new host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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