POLITICS

Donald Trump on confrontation with reporter Jorge Ramos: 'I handled that well'

Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, right, asks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a question regarding immigration issues during a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa.   (Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Univision journalist Jorge Ramos, right, asks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a question regarding immigration issues during a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa. (Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

"I think I handled that well. I got a lot of credit for it," an unapologetic Donald Trump told Laura Ingraham on her radio show, referring to how his security team the previous evening kicked the prominent Univision reporter, Jorge Ramos, out of the Republican presidential candidate’s press conference in Dubuque, Iowa.

Ramos wasn’t doing any reconciling on Wednesday, either.

“He tried to silence me,” the Mexican-born journalist told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “And in this country you cannot do that. I’m a citizen, I’m an immigrant, I’m a reporter. And I have the right in this country to ask any question I want, to whomever I want.”

Trump's confrontation with Ramos came a day after he resumed his feud with Kelly. He welcomed her back from a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she was away.

Ramos tried to find common ground with Kelly on her show.

"What is it like to be caught in the crosshairs of a billionaire presidential front-runner?" she asked him.

"Well, you know exactly how it feels," Ramos replied.

But Kelly pressed Ramos, suggesting that he may have shown up at the conference looking for a confrontation, and asked, “Can you understand Trump’s side of it? Which is, ‘This is not the outlet I want to take these questions from because their mind is made up about me.’”

Ramos answered, “He is talking about 60 million Latinos that will go to the polls and might decide the next election.”

After getting kicked out, Ramos waited in a corridor, and a video emerged of a Trump supporter telling him, "This isn't about you. Get out of my country. Get out." The comment echoed Trump's comment to Ramos after he disrupted the press conference. "Go back to Univison," Trump said. 

Ramos was allowed back in and continued his verbal sparring over Trump's immigration plan.

The Los Angeles Times noted on Wednesday that in Ramos, “Trump may have tussled with the wrong media star,” noting that a 2010 Pew Research Center report found that Ramos was the second-most recognized Latino figure in the U.S. after Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Trump’s latest clash comes as his rivals continue to grapple with how best to compete against the unpredictable billionaire businessman, who has skyrocketed to the top of the polls.

At a campaign event Wednesday in Pensacola, Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sighed when a member of the town hall audience uttered Trump's name.

"Do we have to talk about this guy?" Bush asked.

Bush went on to criticize Trump's immigration plan, specifically his proposal to build a massive border wall, calling it impractical and out of step with conservative principles because of its cost.

He also criticized Trump's clash with Ramos, saying all journalists should be treated with "dignity and respect." He added that Trump needs to be held accountable by reporters.

"Go through these questions," Bush said, "and what you'll find is this guy doesn't have a plan."

The dispute didn't go unnoticed on the Democratic side of the campaign, either.

Speaking at an event in Ankeny, Iowa, Hillary Rodham Clinton said Trump and his rivals don't support a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally.

"Don't get distracted by the flamboyant front-runner," she said. "Most of the other Republican candidates are just Trump without the pizazz or the hair."

But Trump did seem more inclined to bury the hatchet with Fox’s Kelly. During his conversation Wednesday with Ingraham, he said their spat was "not a death struggle, not a big deal."

"Actually I watched her show last night. She was very nice and I appreciated it," he said.

He said he and Ailes had just gotten off a phone call together, and praised the executive as "a good friend of mine" and a "special guy."

Asked if he was going to continue his Twitter campaign against Kelly, Trump said, "No, I have much bigger things to think about, honestly."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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