Joe Biden's Univision Interview
"Donald Trump uses phrases like 'We're going to eviscerate the Constitution,'" Biden told Univision LatinTimes screen grab

President Joe Biden used an interview with Univision to lash out at his predecessor Donald Trump, whom he accused of wanting to undermine the Constitution and keep a death grip on the Republican Party.

During the interview with Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo, Biden was asked what he believed posed the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the country. His response? "Donald Trump."

"Seriously. Donald Trump uses phrases like 'We're going to eviscerate the Constitution,'" said Biden about the former president's statements that if he wins the rematch in November he will "be a dictator from day one."

Speaking from the White House, Biden granted an interview to Univision several months after Trump also spoke with Acevedo on issues considered a priority for many in the Latino community: border security, immigration, and relations with Mexico. The former president explained why he believes he's gaining traction with this demographic, stating that those living in the U.S. 'want security and a secure border.'

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden AFP

Observers and pundits criticized the Spanish-language network for allegedly seeking to ingratiate itself with Trump during the November 2023 interview. While, according to analysts, Acevedo asked a series of softball questions, the company's CEO, Wade Davis, defended the interview.

"We made a decision to adopt a strategy that is different than what some other major networks are using, which has been labeled as partisan," said Davis in a statement reported by Variety.

However,in the aftermath of the Trump interview, León Krauze, one of Univision's anchors, resigned from the company, though he never cited the Q&A as the reason for his departure.

Biden's aces

In today's interview with Biden, Acevedo asked several questions that did not make Biden uncomfortable; instead, the president was able to highlight some of the initiatives he has pushed in favor of Hispanics, such as student loan forgiveness plans.

Biden said that his administration has faced criticism for allocating billions of dollars to various student loan programs and income-contingent repayment plans as people advance in their careers.

"I get criticized for trying to emphasize investment in education," Biden said. "How in God's name can we lead the world without having the best education in the world? (...) When we started, you got roughly 25 students from K through 12 in every single class. 25 out of 100 students come from Spanish-speaking homes. How in God's name can we ignore that? It's our future."

Migrants cross the Darien Province in Panama
Migrants cross the Tuquesa river near Bajo Chiquito village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama, on September 22, 2023 AFP

Biden's border challenges

As he did in his State of the Union address, Biden referred to the border safety initiative that lawmakers from both parties had agreed to in the Senate. While the proposal did not include everything the president wanted, he perceived it as a breakthrough. However, Biden said in the end, Trump worked to block it.

"And when --this is literally the truth, what happened was that when Trump found out that I liked him and supported him and that I would get, quote, credit for it, he got on the phone, no joke, he consulted with the Republicans and called them and said, don't support it, it will benefit Biden (...) It was a good piece of legislation, and I'm not giving up on it."

The president told Acevedo that his administration is reviewing whether they have the power to close the border and allocate resources as proposed in the initiative that Republicans in the Senate refused to approve.

"There's no guarantee that I have that power all by myself without legislation. And some have suggested I should just go ahead and try it. And if I get shut down by the court, I get shut down by the court. But we're trying to work that, work through that right now," Biden said.

AMLO "keeps his word"

AMLO and Biden
U.S. President Biden meets with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House in Washington Reuters

Earlier this year, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged the Biden administration to invest $20 billion in Latin America to fight poverty. He also called on the U.S. to provide a path to legal work for 10 million undocumented workers from the region.

When confronted by Acevedo with Trump's statement that he wouldn't give Mexico even 10 cents, Biden clarified that AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, was not the author of the $20 billion plan.

"Before (AMLO) even came up with that plan I initiated that plan years ago," Biden said.

Biden said his administration is working to help Central American countries create jobs so people won't be forced to leave. He didn't discuss the violence in the region, which is one of the main drivers of migration, but he acknowledged that 'People want to be able to make sure that they have an opportunity to just make a living, and they'd rather make a living where they are'".

"Do you have a good relationship with President López Obrador?," Acevedo asked.

"I do, I do. I find him straightforward," Biden replied. "He's never kidded me. He knows what he wants. He keeps his word. That's about as much as I can ask."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.