Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera defended presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump on Friday, claiming in a column that the real estate mogul does “not have a racist bone in his body.”
“He is a down-to-earth, all around good guy,” he contends.
To counter claims that Trump might be racist, Rivera cites the following evidence:
Rivera bumped into Trump on May 1 at Fox News headquarters.
Trump accepted Rivera's invitation to go on "Fox and Friends."
The appearance was “newsworthy” and “friendly.”
Trump is a nice guy.
And a grandfather.
Trump has treated Rivera’s family with respect.
“Celebrity Apprentice” was “a blast."
For all this and more, Rivera says he “loves” Trump and holds his family in the “highest esteem.”
However, he's not actually planning to vote for Trump, unless he moderates those views widely criticized as racist.
Trump’s strident brand of politically incorrect and often nonsensical nationalism has attracted the support of a wide range of white supremacists. Some of his remarks and proposals -- like the Muslim ban, surveillance of mosques and mass deportation of immigrants -- have been viewed by Republicans and Democrats alike as tainted by racism.
Even Rivera scorns Trump’s “toxic immigration policy," praising undocumented immigrants as “the pizza deliverers, the baby sitters, the lawn mowers, the poultry processors, the meat packers and so forth.”
But because Trump is such a “smart practical man,” Rivera is confident the Republican presidential hopeful will make himself more electable by finding a way to make policies like a ban on Muslim visitors or indiscriminate mass deportation of undocumented immigrants more centrist.
Rivera ends the piece by plugging his own upcoming weekend special.