ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts asked Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump Wednesday if he was “proud” of a political environment in which school children taunt each other about getting deported — an environment for which his campaign is allegedly responsible.
“There’ve been incidents of children, of white children, pointing to their darker-skinned classmates and saying ‘You’ll be deported when Donald Trump is president.’ There have been incidents of white kids at basketball games holding up signs to teams which have Hispanic kids on them saying ‘We’re going to build a wall to keep you out.’ Are you proud of that? Is that something you’ve done in American political and social discourse that you’re proud of?” Roberts asked during a segement on MSBNC’s “Morning Joe.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) March 9, 2016
“Well, I think your question is a very nasty question,” Trump replied. “And I’m not proud of it because I didn’t even hear of it, OK. And certainly don’t like it at all when I hear about it. You’re the first one that’s told me about that. But I would not be proud of that at all.”
Roberts countered that “many newspapers” have reported on such incidents.
Trump replied that that’s “not the purpose” of his campaign.
“We want to make America great again,” Trump said. “We want to bring back our industry, we want to bring back our jobs from China and Japan and, by the way Mexico, which have taken so many of our jobs, and that’s what it’s about.”
Roberts asked Trump if “when you talk about deporting people and you talk about building a wall and you talk about banning Muslims” there is “an effect on children.”
“I talk about deporting people who are here illegally. And I also talk about people coming in,” Trump replied, adding, “I also talk about building a wall, and oftentimes I’ll say, ‘There’s going to be a big, beautiful door in that wall and people are going to come into our country because we want people to come in.’ We want people to come into our country, but we want them to come in legally.”
“But what about the children, Mr. Trump?” Roberts asked. “What about what the children are hearing from you and how they are responding to it?”
“Well, I think people are responding very positively,” Trump said.