(CNN) – The now-infamous 'self-deportation' policy proposal from Mitt Romney was "crazy" and "maniacal," real estate magnate Donald Trump said in an interview published online Tuesday.
The former Romney backer said the suggestion, made during a GOP primary debate in January, made it seem like the Republican Party was hostile and anti-immigrant.
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"He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal," Trump said in the interview with the conservative website NewsMax. "It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote."
Romney's suggestion involved making economic conditions so difficult for undocumented workers that they choose to leave the country to find better opportunities. That stance was derided both by Democrats and his Republican rivals.
The 2012 GOP nominee often sought to balance his positions in ways that appealed both to Hispanic voters and the base of the Republican Party. In December, he vowed to veto the DREAM Act if he became president, saying instead he would support a path to residency – not citizenship – for undocumented immigrants who served in the military, but not other DREAM Act proposals.
Later, Romney gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fund-raiser in Florida that Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.
In the November 6 election, 27% of Latinos cast ballots for Romney, compared to 31% who voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008 and 44% who supported George W. Bush in 2004, according to exit polls. Seventy-one percent of Latinos voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.
In the interview Tuesday, Trump said Obama and Democrats were still without a clear immigration policy, but had adopted a friendlier tone in discussing immigration issues.
"The Democrats didn't have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren't mean-spirited about it," Trump said. "They didn't know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind."
He also said Republicans had yet to develop clear proposals that "take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country."
The real estate developer and reality television show host was a leading voice of the "birther" movement during the campaign, which questions Obama's birthplace and his eligibility to be president. After the election was called for Obama, he urged his sizable Twitter following to "march on Washington and stop this travesty."
"Fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice," he also wrote, claiming the country was now in "serious and unprecedented trouble...like never before." Trump has since deleted the revolution missive.
Trump himself was slated to moderate a GOP presidential primary debate with NewsMax in December, but pulled out after only two candidates – former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – agreed to participate. He flirted with a run for the White House, vowing to put pressure on Obama to release his birth certificate, but said in May he was going to eschew a run to remain a businessman.
So, trump is all for being kind to ILLEGAL immigrants but thinks nothing of being rude and offensive to the President of the United States by demanding he turn over his birth records and college transcripts? I think we KNOW who the nut is.
Obama will ask for and receive advice from many sides and will ignore it all.
Gee, maybe if he told Romney that before the election it would have helped him. Nice move Trump.
Trump is proof that there is people who can get rich without common sense or intelligence...
@Wake up People!
I hear so much about Mexicans/Hispanics being illegal and taking peoples jobs, but what about the middle easterners?? They come over here, receive loans, open gas stations and convenience stores, and yet their women and the men clean up on welfare. They have babies every 9 months and they have taken over the Detroit area and suburbs. Why doesn't anyone complain about them?? Last I heard there were no hispanics involved with 9/11.....
I'm just wondering because I have ZERO problems with hispanics, but I have plenty with middle eastern men and women. They are so disrespectful to people that look like myself. Just wondering why the double standard? I bet this comment gets deleted......
Literally the first post you have ever made that I agree with you on! I guess I'd better call the pope and find out if hell has frozen over or pigs have started growing wings.
WHY WHY WHY does the media give this nimrod a single line of coverage? He is a self centered jerk only out to enhance HIS wallet. PLEASE, give us a break from this tragic joke of a man.
Trump and Romney... Keeping spray tanning salons in business...
Obviously the brains of the republican party. Still incensed at Obama for interrupting the Apprentice with the news that Ossama Bin Ladin had been killed. Ronald McDonald thought the news could have waited until the next morning.
Delicious- trump actually calling out Romney for being too reactionary. I'm loving it! The GOP is truly a ship of fools.
The Republican party "IS" hostile and anti-immigrant;.... Good grief..
Trying to pretend otherwise now is joke..
Wow...He is proof that money can't buy you an IQ...
Is he still around??....didn't he got fired from NBC??.....
I think it's awesome that the Right allows people like Trump, Bachman, Santorum and Romney to speak for them as a whole. As long as they allow themselves to be led by the fringe they will continue to lose. The best part is their arrogance won't allow them to see it. I hate having to listen to the crazies but it's really the bess thing that's happened for liberal politics in a while. Just difficult to stomach.
Romney was only speaking for the people he represents. If he wasn't "tough" on immigration, he wouldn't have been nominated, someone else would have. It's the GOP who has to change its tune.
What makes me laugh the hardest is that the Republicans are still scratching their heads trying to figure out what went wrong! HA! They were certain that they had this in the bag and then KABOOM! Whoda thought that Obama would literally slaughter Romney. That "frat boy" mentality no longer holds a drop of water.
Donald, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and most of all Jimmy Carter just need to go away.
Nothing beats the crazy of this article existing in the first place.
Self deportation vs no incentive to stay and leaving. Difference?
Anyone else noticing that Trump is getting more and more manic in his old age? He is one scary dude. I think it is time he checked himself in to a hospital for a mental health check, because he acts like he is over the edge.
I think the Donald should stick with "reality" TV.
um...the pot calling the kettle black?
Trump calling someone else crazy???? Oh well . . . .
@Wake Up People! and @Wilson
You two are truly ignoramouses. First of all...the people of who own a lot of gas stations on convenience stores are NOT middle easterners. They are Indians, who come from Asia...not the Middle East. Indians are the highest educated and highest earning minorities in the US, they earn on average 50% more than the general population. They are NOT a drain on American resources, but in fact help to fill the coffers of the US Treasury, by paying huge taxes. They also do not have babies every 9 months as you claim.
Seems to me you are anti-Muslim, geography-challenged racists. And by the way, the majority if Indians are NOT muslims.
Since the president has released his original birth certificate, I would suggest Mr. Trump find and release his own original birth certificate.
@Paul Gardener. First off, you have no right calling anyone names. How can you tell me what I know?? I live in the midst of all of this, and I can tell you, these are NOT Indians! I have lived around these people for 30 plus years. I am actually friendly with some of them. I even know when they leave the country. Now why would INDIANS say they are going home to Jordan?? Or Syria?? Or Saudi Arabia??? I know what I am talking about I live it EVERYDAY. You should know what YOU are talking about before you post.
@Wilson, I guess there is a first time for everything!
@Paul Gadner, the local welfare office is FILLED with them everyday! Each and everytime I go to the grocery store guess who is pulling out the food stamp cards??? You got it buddy, the middle easterners.