Donald Trump joined ABC's This Week and told host George Stephanopolous that Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election to President Obama, not because of his disastrous 47% remarks, but because he released his tax returns.
Trump has been under fire for refusing to release any of his tax returns because he says he's under an audit, but on Thursday he told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that he wouldn't release tax returns not being audited either.
The ABC host was asking Trump if he has any ties to Russian interests when his tax returns came up.
Stephanopoulos asked if Donald had any debts and he said no, "I don't need debt," and then George asked about his returns, "Americans can be assured on that, if they saw your tax returns."
Trump got defensive and then made a scurrilous claim about Mitt Romney's tax returns.
He said, "I watched Mitt Romney four years ago. He waited 'til September to give 'em, just before the election. They made him look so bad. It was so unfair. I actually think he didn't lose because of the 47%. I think he lost because of a couple of really minor items in a tax return, where he did nothing wrong."
Say what you will about Mitt Romney's campaign, but not one person in politics thought Romney's releasing of his tax returns was THE reason he lost. It was a part of it, sure, but his horrific remarks about almost half the country was much more detrimental.
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
This is a new bogus excuse Trump is using to refuse what has been the norm in presidential politics for thirty years.
He has something to hide and is throwing as much hose manure against the wall to see what will stick.
Full transcript via ABC News:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know where I'm gonna take this next. Americans can be assured on that, if they saw your tax returns.
TRUMP: My tax returns are very simple. They're under a minor audit, routine audit, as they have been for many years. Every year, I get audited. Now, I don't know if you get audited. But I have friends--
STEPHANOPOULOS: I've been audited.
TRUMP: --that are very wealthy that have never been audited. I say, "Do you get audited?" I get audited every year. I'm under a routine audit, like, routine. And I have been for years, every year.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But there are several years--
TRUMP: If it's finished--
STEPHANOPOULOS: --that are no longer under audit--
TRUMP: George, it's very simple. Yeah, but they're all linked. It's called the link. It's very simple. If my audit's finished, that's great. Now, I have to tell you, I watched Mitt Romney four years ago. He waited 'til September to give 'em, just before the election.
They made him look so bad. It was so unfair. I actually think he didn't lose because of the 47%. I think he lost because of a couple of really minor items in a tax return, where he did nothing wrong. So it-- it is unfair. But I will say, when I'm finished with the audit, I'll do it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Richard Nixon--
TRUMP: And if that's before the election--
STEPHANOPOULOS: --released his, even though his were under audit.
TRUMP: Don't use Richard Nixon as necessarily the guide, okay? I mean, you know, it's an interesting person to use. But don't use it.