Fox News ratings powerhouse Bill O’Reilly invited GOP front-runner Donald Trump onto The O’Reilly Factor and tried to push him off his stance on deporting millions of illegal immigrants. But Trump didn’t budge, despite O’Reilly’s characterization of the idea as “brutal.”
During this week’s debate, the real estate mogul mentioned the fact that in 1954, President Eisenhower deported as many as one million illegals in a program called “Operation Wetback.”
Since Trump brought the 1950s policy to the discussion, he has been criticized for even saying the name of Eisenhower’s operation–as if just saying the title meant that Trump was endorsing the word “wetback.”
But Fox News’ O’Reilly went further; and during Trump’s appearance, the host slammed the 1954 policy, calling it “brutal.”
“Believe me when I tell you, Mr. Trump, that was brutal what they did to those people to kick them back,” O’Reilly said to Trump. “The stuff they did was really brutal. It could never happen today.”
But while he didn’t repeat the name of the policy, Trump did not back off from his central point that it is possible to deport large numbers of illegals. In fact, he cited yet another president who did the same thing as Eisenhower.
“And Bill, let me tell you,” Trump interjected, “Truman also sent 3.5 million people out, so you have to check on that. But Truman, before Ike, sent 3.5 million people out.”
Despite O’Reilly’s attempt to push Trump off his stance on immigration, Trump is finding that his position is one of the main reasons he is still the front-runner in the hunt for the GOP nomination for president.
A new YouGov poll found that Trump was far and away the most trusted Republican candidate on immigration, with 49 percent saying he is the best candidate on the issue.