DUBUQUE, Iowa — Jorge Ramos said Donald Trump’s event on Tuesday was “the first time in my life, anywhere in the world, in which I have been escorted out of a press conference.”
The Univision anchorman’s testy Q-and-A with Trump has the political and media worlds buzzing.
Some say both men benefited — Ramos by getting to challenge Trump in front of millions of viewers, Trump by getting to appear gracious by letting the reporter back in, then tough by responding to the rapid-fire questions.
Some Trump supporters and conservative commentators say the candidate should have left Ramos outside, since the journalist stood up and starting asking questions without being called on.
But Ramos says it’s his “right” as a “U.S. citizen, as an immigrant, and as a journalist” to ask Trump about the candidate’s controversial immigration proposals.
Speaking on the Spanish-language network after the confrontation Tuesday night, Ramos said he stood up to ask about Trump’s deportation plan.
That’s when Trump “signaled security and the guards took me out of the conference.”
Trump says security made the decision to eject Ramos.
It was important to Ramos that he not sit down during the encounter. Once he was allowed back inside the room, about 10 minutes later, he quizzed Trump and the two men debated for about five minutes.
Yes, it was a stunt — but it was also a substantive moment of journalism.
Trump, he said afterward, “did not want to be specific on what he wanted to do with 11 million undocumented migrants.”
When Ramos woke up Wednesday morning, he tweeted that “no human being is illegal” and that “journalists ask questions.”
Ramos flew to Iowa expecting there would be fireworks — but not expecting to be ejected from a news conference and told to “go back to Univision.”
He is often said to be the most famous Spanish-language news anchor in the United States. He had been trying to get an interview with Trump for months.
So he decided to travel to Iowa for Trump’s Tuesday evening rally there. When he started questioning Trump, the candidate said “you haven’t been called” on. But Ramos kept trying.
That’s one of the things Ramos’s fans like about him. He positions himself as an uncompromising advocate for his audience.
“After two or three questions I thought it was my turn and my right to ask a question,” Ramos said afterward.
After security “pushed me out of the press conference,” he said, “I stayed outside the room, and after about maybe five to ten minutes, somebody from his team” invited him back inside.
That’s when the two men had a long, sometimes tense back-and-forth about Trump’s deportation plans for undocumented aliens and his call for an end to birthright citizenship.
Ramos’s point-of-view journalism that is hailed by some is criticized by others.
Unsurprisingly, there were a wide variety of reactions to the press conference. Condemnations of Trump competed with headlines like this one from the conservative site National Review: “Donald Trump Was Right to Kick Jorge Ramos Out Of His Press Conference.”
The encounter ended with Trump saying, “You and I, we’ll talk.”
Afterward, a spokesman for Ramos said, “We’d love for Mr. Trump to sit down for an in-depth interview with Jorge to talk about the specifics of his proposals. We think his thoughts on the topic of immigration are important to Jorge’s viewers on Fusion and Univision.”
Notably, Trump did not tweet any shots at Ramos afterward.