Fox News' Geraldo Rivera Defends President Trump's Relationship With Latinos

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera said on the morning show Fox & Friends to laud President Donald Trump's relationship with Latinos and offered advice on how that could be improved.

Among other topics, the veteran journalist and talk show host discussed the president's popularity among Latino voters in the United States on the program. Trump, Rivera argued, has a high regard for Latino Americans (Rivera himself is of Puerto Rican descent on his father's side).

A clip of Rivera's words on Fox & Friends was shared on the website Contemptor .

"I believe that knowing this president as long as I have, decades, being around Trump Tower long before he ever contemplated running for president, seeing Latinos in every position from, executive to elevator operator, I know how he has such affection for Latinos," he said.

The president's reputation among Latinos in the U.S. has been a contentious topic since he announced his candidacy for the Oval Office. On June 16, 2015, when Trump first said that he would be running for president, he made his now well-known comments about how some immigrants from Mexico were "rapists" who were "bringing crime" into the country. Those comments were denounced--as well as Trump's initiative to build a wall across the southern border of the U.S. to keep out undocumented immigrants--as racist. However, 28 percent of Latino voters picked Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Rivera said that Trump could capitalize on issues that matter to Latinos—namely, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—in order to garner more support from the demographic.

"I think he has a chance, as I said, to get 40 percent [of the Latino vote]," Rivera said, referring to the percentage of the Latino voting bloc he believes Trump could win in the 2020 election. "How? DACA, the Dreamers."

DACA is a federal program that was started by former President Barack Obama that has allowed some children who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, nicknamed "Dreamers," to legally remain in the country and become eligible for work permits. Most Dreamers are Latinos, and nearly 80 percent are from Mexico, according to The New York Times.

Rivera told hosts on Fox & Friends that the Dreamers are "good folks," whom the president should give what they deserve: a pathway to citizenship. If he were to do so, it would likely improve his relationship with Latinos.

The Trump administration has pushed to end the DACA program, calling it "unconstitutional" and "illegal." NPR reported on November 13 that the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a majority of conservative justices, may allow the administration to end the program.

Rivera's figure that 28 percent of Latinos voted for Trump in 2016 was recorded by most exit polls from Election Day. As Politico reported earlier this month, a Telemundo survey found that the percentage of Latinos who support the president has remained mostly steady in the three years since the 2016 election, though it has dipped slightly to 25 percent. The same poll showed that 64 percent of Latinos would vote to replace Trump and 57 percent think he should be impeached and removed from office.

During his television appearance, Rivera appeared to be optimistic about Trump's potential to get in the good graces of the Latino community.

"I know this guy," he said. "This is a president that just cares about people's achievements, their skills, their attitude toward life, their attitude toward the country. He doesn't see people black, brown, white, whatever it is. He sees people based on what they do for themselves and what they do for their families, what they do for their country."

Geraldo Rivera Visits SiriusXM
Geraldo Rivera visits the Dan Abrams show at SiriusXM Studios on November 1, 2018 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty