STERLING, Va. – Donald Trump is pushing back after taking heat for his comments last week about Mexican illegal immigrants, telling reporters on Tuesday: "Latinos love Trump."
The newly announced Republican presidential candidate spoke to reporters while giving them, and PGA officials, a tour of his 18-hole championship course, which hugs the Potomac River. Trump confronted criticism he's fielded -- from the Latino community, Hillary Clinton and others -- for saying last week he'd build a "great wall" on the Mexican border. Trump also had said Mexico is sending people who are "bringing drugs" and "bringing crime," including "rapists."
Asked about the backlash, Trump said: "I do great with Latino voters. I employ so many Latinos. I have so many people working for me. I'm a job creator. I create jobs. I'm a master job creator. No politician knows how to create jobs. They're all talk, they're no action. They don't know what they're doing."
He added: "And you know, the Latinos love Trump and I love them."
He also touted the results of a newly released New Hampshire primary poll showing him in second place, just behind Jeb Bush. The Suffolk University Political Research Center survey had Bush with 14 percent, and Trump with 11 percent.
"I think it's an honor," Trump said. "I was just told we're in second place. Bush, then Trump. And the headline is Trump."
Trump on Tuesday was marking the re-opening of a redesigned "Championship Course" at Trump National in suburban Washington.
The Donald also weighed in on the Confederate Flag controversy raging in South Carolina and elsewhere after last week's mass shooting in Charleston. "I think that it probably does [need to go], and I think they should put it in a museum. Let it go. ... I would take it down, yes," he said.
Trump advisers tell Fox News the Donald will be hitting the campaign trail this weekend, heading to Iowa, home of the critical first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.