NBC's Matt Lauer Calls Out Mitt Romney For Previously Embracing Donald Trump's Endorsement

Lauer: People Are Saying You “Willingly Welcomed The Endorsement Of” Trump In 2012 When Trump Was “Knee-Deep In The Birther Movement”

From the March 4 edition of NBC's Today:

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MATT LAUER (HOST): You said “he's dangerous for the country, dangerous for working Americans.” You attacked him on his economic policies, his foreign policy, his personality, which you call “his third grade antics.” His business acumen. Here's a quote. “But wait,” you say, “isn't he a huge business success that knows what he's talking about? No, he isn't. No, he doesn't. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business. He didn't create it.” Let me take you back four years, alright? And listen to this.


MITT ROMNEY: 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.


LAUER: That was four years ago, same two guys, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney.

ROMNEY: Oh he's a successful guy, he's made a lot of money, but he hasn't been uniformly successful and he's far from a business genius. Look, Trump University, Trump steaks, Trump mortgage, Trump vitamin company. One after the other, failure after failure. So just because he's made a lot of money, one, you don't measure your life by how much money you've made, but just because he's made a lot of money doesn't mean that his economic policies are right for America.

LAUER: But the people who are angry at you this morning, Governor Romney, are saying, “wait a second, he willingly welcomed the endorsement of Donald Trump four years ago, even though he was already knee-deep in the birther movement and had made other incendiary comments. Why go 180 degrees on the guy now?”

ROMNEY: Well, first of all, I was seeking his endorsement, now he's seeking mine. That's very different. A lot of people endorsed me I wouldn't endorse for president. And secondly, a lot has happened in the last year. And frankly had I heard him say the things I've heard him say now, I wouldn't have welcomed his endorsement. When he calls George W. Bush a liar. When he says that Putin is a strong and powerful leader, popular with people. When he mocks a reporter because of their disability. When he attacks women based on their looks or their menstrual cycle, you basically got a guy that is out of the kind of realm that I'd want to have support me.

LAUER: Did you beg him for his endorsement four years ago?

ROMNEY: I was welcoming his endorsement, I was happy to have it. I was looking for as many endorsers as I could possibly have. But when it comes to who I would support for president, there are a lot of folks who endorsed me I would not want to see as president.


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