Univision anchor Jorge Ramos was booted from a Donald Trump campaign press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday — before returning to engage in a heated exchange about illegal immigration with the GOP frontrunner.
The controversy began when the popular anchor of the Spanish-language network attempted to ask Trump a question, to which the candidate responded, “You haven’t been called.” He then told Ramos, “Go back to Univision!”
Ramos was then escorted out of the room at Trump’s request by a security guard.
“You can’t just stand up and scream. He’s obviously a very emotional person. So I have no problem with it,” Trump said later when another reporter asked about the incident. “Certainly, he was not [chosen],” Trump said. “He just stands up and starts screaming, so maybe he’s at fault.”
The business mogul later told reporters Ramos was “out of order” but that he had no problem if Ramos wanted to return.
The journalist was soon seen back in the room and began a heated on-camera exchange with Trump over his proposal to expel undocumented immigrants and to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in the country to non-citizens.
“Good to have you back,” Trump told Ramos upon his return to the room.
Addressing the issue of removing the millions of people living in the country without documentation, Trump said, “I want to make it possible… I want the good people to come back, and I want them to get documentation so they become legal. It’s called management.You’re not used to good management because you are always talking about government. Government is incompetent, people like Bush are incompetent… They can’t do it. I’m a great manager.”
“I have a bigger heart than you do,” Trump told Ramos. “We’re going to do it in a very humane fashion… We’re going to start with is the gangs, and the real bad ones… Do you agree with that or do you think everyone is just perfect? Do you agree that we have tremendous crime?”
As Ramos attempted to respond, Trump shut down his interruption, saying, “I can’t deal with this.”
Trump then tried to drive his point home about the dangers of Mexican immigrants specifically, telling Ramos, “They have some rough illegal immigrants in those gangs… If they come from Mexico, do you mind if I send them back to Mexico? “
Trump insisted that the government needs to beef up its border security. “The primary way they come through is BING, right through our border patrol,” he said.
The real estate mogul turned politician then defended his record with Hispanics.
“Do you know how many Latinos work for me?” Trump asked. “They love me! Thousands! Do you know how many have worked for me over the years? Tens of thousands?” He added, “Once I win, you are going to see things happen. They want jobs, that’s what they want.”
According to a Gallup poll released Monday, Latinos were more likely to say they disliked Trump than liked him by a 51-point margin.
Commentators were quick to note that Trump’s treatment of the Univision anchor may have repercussions in the Latino community. “Ramos is the Walter Cronkite of Latino journalism and a great and respected newsman in any language,” Joe Peyronnin, former Fox News president and former EVP of Telemundo. “He was persistent and fair, but Trump treated him arrogantly.”
The bizarre confrontation is only the latest awkward exchange Trump has had with a journalist, coming hours after he blasted Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Monday night. The candidate has been feuding with Kelly since her tough questioning over his treatment of women during the Republican debate earlier this month.