>> The leverage I have a great company I have a tremendous income.>> Donald Trump's business credentials helped get him to the debate stage. But his instinct for the bottom line working against him Monday night as Trump boasted about avoiding federal taxes.>> Why won't he release his tax returns?
The only years that anybody's ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over, when was trying to get a casino license and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax. So->> That makes me smart.>> Political correspondent Emily Stephenson.>> He was not trying to push back and say, of course I pay income taxes, of course I pay my fair share.
He just said I'm a smart businessman. Why would I pay more taxes than I need to?>> Stephenson says for the wealthy Trump, admitting to not paying taxes could backfire badly with undecided voters who might see it as unpatriotic. More moderate undecided people who were uncomfortable when they saw stories about Mitt Romney taking over businesses and laying off workers and things like that.
Those same people are gonna be uncomfortable with Trump saying that he didn't pay income taxes for several years because he was smart.>> Taking advantage of the laws of the nation now.>> Trump wading into hot water yet again. When asked why he rooted for the devastating housing collapse that brought on a brutal US recession.
>> Clinton said that Trump had cheered on the housing crisis and bet on the housing crisis. He said that's just good business, which he, you know, is thinking about the people who tells him all the time that they don't want another politician, they want somebody who, think like he does.
And he says, I bring that business sense to the White House. He, however, set her up to say well millions of people lost their houses, millions of people lost their jobs. And it's was because of people like you. And he didn't really have a defense to that argument.
Trump really defended his business practices but didn't acknowledge that as President it's not all about how much money you've made, it's about sticking up for people whose jobs and homes and lives depend on your policy decisions.>> Unlike Clinton, Trump has refused to release the majority of his tax returns, claiming he can do so while under federal audit.