(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.
FUN to sit back and watch the dysfunctional Republican party eat their own
Trumps birther crap is just that CRAP! !! If the goverment could check my dad who worked for P.W.A because they couldnt account for a yr. of his life Im sure they knew the Pres. was American born! And my dad was just Lowly factory worker. Mr. Trump and others GET A REAL LIFE! !! And P.S. The election is over!!!
LOL! Trump, hysterical!
It's funny and sad at the same time, watching the republicans pushing themselves further and further down into the quicksand of their own clueless minds. Clowns like Trump don't help either.
Trump will spew out anything for an opportunity to make himself feel relavent. It must be awful to feel that way. Everyone would notice him more if he just zipped the lip.
... George Bush got a limitless credit card to run this country and no one cared. Suddenly, when Barack Obama was elected, everything has to be paid in cash. ....
Actually, it was Democrats who pushed for a "pay as you go bill" but Republicans blocked with a filibuster because it would have required a general tax rate increase, defense cuts, raising the capital gains tax rate, despite the fact that it included entitlement reform.
Trump is the smartest man in the world. If he had run, he could have beaten Obama with a Republican landslide on the November 6, and without a doubt, he could become the greatest president in the American history. Yeah he is my man! Trump/Romney 2016.
Oh, so now after Romney looses Trump comes clean. Crazy talk for a man who spent great time and money trying to get him elected.
Trump is just as crazy to think that people are as stupid as he believes they are.
Whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad. The donald is already there!
Do you rember an Obama commercial that had the tail of Trump's plane in the background as Romney left his own campaign plane. That wasn't by accident. Obama's people knew Trump is a joke.
In 2016 Trump will tease America with an upcoming BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: He is thinking about running for President and he will make his final decision on The Apprentice! Stay tuned!
No one made the GOP seem more hostile than Trump. What a fool.
Crazy? Trump, you are not any better. This was the guy you pandered to a few months ago.
The fact that Romney is beeing crititzed on practically all parts of his entire campaign makes it absolutely ununderstandable that he was nominated in the first place. The entire criticism proves that the GOP does not have any viable or reasonable or consistent ideas.
The hostile GOP is also anti-middle class, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-nonchristian, anti-minority and addition to being anti-immigrant.
who even cares what that man says let alone thinks?
Just because you have money does not mean you have class or brains.
The hostile GOP is also anti-middle class, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-nonchristian, and anti-minority; in addition to being anti-immigrant.
Trump is a perfect example that you do not have to be intelligent to inherit daddy's money. He most certainly hasn't earned it himself. It's pretty easy to make a billion when your given 5 billion by daddy. Trump is a fool and a coward!!!
Donald Trump is contemptible and irritating. Why are you giving him a platform?
Trump is calling someone else "maniacal"? Ha!
"the Republican Party was hostile and anti-immigrant" instead of hostile and insanely anti-Hispanic? Yeah, that was certainly a mischaracterization of some sort. They need to let Hispanics know that as long as they turn white and speak English, they can stay. For a while. Just don't marry our daughters.
CNN reported the other day that some Mexican families who are illegal in the US are fleeing back to Mexico because they could not find good job opportunities. This suggests that self-deportation works and Romney was right.
Donald Trump may be an astute businessman but he is also the biggest buffoon in America. I was not surprised to hear from many of my friends overseas who think he is a laughing stock and an embarrassment to the Republican Party. Go lick your wounds Donald!!!
As a national brand and party, the GOP is fading fast. They have managed to self inflict and self destruct themselves into a a party of looney extremists. They have failed to capitalize on the centerpiece of their strength, fiscal conservatism. Now, they are the "anti-party". In their efforts to include the Tea Party and Pro Life, anti-gay, religious right, they have morphed into a party with an extremist identity. Both parties are beholden to special interests but the GOP has become special interests driven to the detriment of most of the middle class. The majority of voters have tilted away from the Republican agenda and this majority is growing.