Billionaire Donald Trump Tuesday urged Mitt Romney to "never apologize" for saying 47 percent of Americans are too dependent on government as he lit into President Barack Obama on his handling of foreign policy, the economy, and China trade issues.
In an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, the real estate mogul and television celebrity said Romney was right to raise the issue back in May in a meeting with potential donors, adding that it's "a discussion that maybe should be had" in the presidential campaign.
"He should never apologize. Actually, bring on the discussion," Trump told Van Susteren.
"You do have a large percentage of people not paying taxes. You do have a large percentage of people that feel that they're entitled," he added. "And maybe that's a discussion that we should be having. And I think that's a lot better, Greta, a lot better, than going out and apologizing."
Asked if it was serious blunder that could affect the outcome of the campaign, Trump brushed it off. "He's not going to get those votes anyway," he said, agreeing with Romney's own view that Obama already has the support of people who don't pay taxes and rely on government programs to help them.
Trump said he also doubted a recent tape that surfaced of Obama remarks from 1998, in which he said he believes in redistributing wealth "at a certain level to make sure everybody's got a shot," would have an impact either.
He said the tape merely confirms what Republicans believe about Obama. "You look at the war he's waging with the rich and the so-called less than rich, and, you know, that's the mindset," Trump said.
"And frankly, from a political standpoint, probably it's the only way he can get elected, whether we like it or don't like it, based on how badly the economy is going, based on the fact that he's probably in the history of presidents of the United States, he's our worst at foreign policy," he added.
Trump blamed the current unrest in the Middle East on Obama, suggesting the policies pursued by his administration led to the anti-American protests in Egypt and elsewhere. Trump was particularly hard on the administration for allowing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to be driven out.
"He drops Mubarak like a dog," Trump said. "Egypt is blowing up. They hate us and they now hate Israel."
"And I have to tell you, if I were Jewish and if I were from Israel, I would not be at all happy with Barack Obama," Trump added, referring to the tensions between the United States and Israel over Iran.
"It is a disaster what's going on. Israel is in big trouble with Barack Obama."
Trump also blamed the continuing problems with the U.S. economy on the president, saying he's "done nothing to cure it" during his time in office, other than offering "false stimuli."
Referring to the president's stimulus efforts, Trump said he was not surprised to learn that stimulus money last year had gone to purchase solar panels from China to be installed at a federal office building in Illinois.
He called it another example of how current U.S. policy has actually been "revving up the Chinese economy for years."
Asked about the administration's complaint to the World Trade Organization concerning China's trade practices, Trump said, "All of a sudden, he's starting to try and get tough. But unfortunately, it's only words and it should have been stopped years ago."
However, Trump added, Obama appears to be at least "listening" to all the warnings about China.
Trump also blamed Obama for not doing more to promote U.S. energy independence and deal with rising gas prices, which he blamed on OPEC greed.
"We have a crashing economy, we have a bad economy, the world is doing horribly, Europe is doing horribly, and yet oil prices are at record levels," Trump said.
"That only is because OPEC gets together and they fix the price of oil. And they get away with it because we have nobody in this country . . . to defend us," he said
Asked if he has any regrets about his decision not to run for president, Trump said, "If [Mitt Romney] loses, I'll have big regrets. If he wins, I'll be happy as you can be."
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