Donald Trump says Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment cost him the 2012 election, but long before Mitt’s alleged gaffe, Trump expressed a similar sentiment.
After Mitt Romney blasted Trump in a speech earlier this month, the billionaire Republican front-runner fired back, blaming Romney’s 2012 loss on the former Massachusetts governor’s contention at a Florida fundraiser that 47 percent of America will never vote for a Republican presidential contender because they are so dependent on government goodies while not having to pay any federal income tax.
“There are 47 percent who are with him [Obama], 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,” Romney said in a surreptitiously recorded video, revealed two months before the election on the liberal website Mother Jones. “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.”
“[M]y job is is not to worry about those people,” he continued. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
In responding to Romney’s attack earlier this month, Trump slammed the ideas expressed in Romney’s “47 percent” remarks as disastrous.
“It was a campaign that should have never been lost,” Trump said. “You’re running against a failed president. He came up with the 47 percent. He demeaned 47 percent of the people in our country, right, the famous 47 percent. Once that was said, I’ll be honest, once that was said, a lot of people thought it was over for him.”
But long before Romney made his infamous remarks, Trump made a similar point in his 2011 book, “Time To Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.”
“For starters, half of America doesn’t even pay a single penny in federal income taxes,” Trump wrote. “That may shock you, but it’s true. That’s one of the reasons souring federal spending is so dangerous: half the country shrugs its shoulders and says, ‘Who cares? It’s not my money they’re spending.’”
“So the idea that the lower class is shouldering the tax burden is absurd, because the bottom half of Americans pay no federal income tax at all,” he concluded.