This interview did not go so well for Mitt Romney
Chuck Todd embarrassed Mitt Romney on Meet the Press with videos that made Romney seem as cunning and disingenuous as Donald Trump. Is there any doubt why Americans no longer take the Republican and Democratic establishment seriously?
Here is the text/transcript of the clip in this post.
Chuck Todd: You know, I want to go to something you said about Donald Trump's business background in your speech last Thursday. Let me play a clip.
Mitt Romney on video: His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn't create it. And what ever happened to Trump Airlines? How about Trump University? And then there's Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage? A business genius he is not.
Chuck Todd: However, when you accepted his endorsement four years earlier, this is what you said about his business background.
Mitt Romney on video: Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the American people. I spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy, but successful nonetheless.
Chuck Todd: Governor, all those unsuccessful businesses that you outlined on Thursday, Trump Airlines, Trump University, Trump Vodka, those were all failures before 20-12 as well. Were you just sort of saying something you had to say four years ago in order to accept his endorsement?
Mitt Romney: Well, Donald Trump has made a lot of money for himself. And there's no question that he's got a lot of money in his pockets and has been successful in that score. But if you look at his record overall, and there are other, by the way, failures, you say, "Okay, he made a lot of money for himself, he inherited a lot of money from his dad." But this is not a guy who's a self-made man. And this is a guy who's crushed a lot of people along the way.
Chuck Todd: But why'd you say nice things about him four years? Why did you say so many nice things about his business career when clearly you're not impressed?
Mitt Romney: You know, he's made a lot of money for himself. And I'm gracious enough in a setting where someone has endorsed me to point out that he's been successful, made a lot of money. … And the thing that I find most unusual, and perhaps outrageous, is that even though he says he's worth $10 billion, he finds it in his interest to go out and bilk people of $10,000 here, $15,000 there for Trump University. These people have really been scammed. …
Chuck Todd: I understand that. But, you know, you did, you laid out a whole bunch of things that you thought disqualified Trump, not just his business background, you thought his support for terrorists could lead to a trade war, you were pretty critical of the vulgar language that he uses, the insulting of Muslims. But, you know, he was pretty insulting of Muslims four years ago. He was the face of the birther movement, which has been totally discredited. And I'm going to play you something here, in 2011. Listen to this vulgarity he used:
Donald Trump on video: The messenger is important. I could have one man say, "We're going to tax you 25 percent." And I could say another, "Listen (BEEP) we're going to tax you 25 percent."
Chuck Todd: Governor, it's Sunday morning, so we had to beep that out. But it was this horrible, frankly, F-bomb tirade that he went on, it's been making the rounds on YouTube. Again, in 2011. So I go back. Do you believe you mainstreamed Trump, made him acceptable, and do you regret it?
Mitt Romney: Chuck, there are a lot of people who supported me who I'm sure used the F-bomb, and other words. I had 61 million people vote for me in the general election. And I'm not endorsing all 61 million people for president. … Look, I'd have a long, a very difficult time standing next to him four years ago.