While Donald Trump has taken an aggressive anti-illegal immigration stance since announcing his presidential candidacy, in 2012, after Mitt Romney lost to President Obama, the real estate billionaire criticized the GOP for being too harsh towards illegal immigrants.
“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 told Newsmax’s Ronald Kessler in a Nov. 26, 2012 interview.
“They didn’t know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind.”
Trump’s call for a more delicate approach then on the issue of illegal immigration is in stark contrast to his recent comments.
During his campaign kickoff speech last month, the billionaire mogul decried U.S. immigration policy, saying that Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime.”
“They’re rapists,” he continued, adding that “some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump added another complaint to the list, saying this week that Mexican immigrants spread “tremendous infectious disease.”
Those remarks have caused heavy backlash and led some companies doing business with Trump to sever ties. NBC Universal, Univision, Serta, NASCAR, Macy’s and the PGA Tour have all either ended their contracts or announced plans to do so because of his remarks.
During that 2012 post-election interview, Trump also criticized Romney, whom he had endorsed.
“He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal,” Trump said. He was referring to Romney’s answer during a Jan. 2012 primary debate in which he said that instead of rounding up illegal immigrants and deporting them, the U.S. should adopt a policy of “self-deportation.”
Illegal immigrants without job prospects would eventually return to their home countries, Romney claimed.
“It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote,” Trump told Kessler. “He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”
Trump did say in the interview that Republicans needed to develop a plan to “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 Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
[h/t AG Conservative]