Second GOP Debate Co-Moderator Ilia Calderón Accused Trump of ‘Racist’ Rhetoric: He ‘Empowers White Supremacists’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 16: Ilia Calderon attends the 2023 TelevisaUnivision Upfront at P
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Univision’s Ilia Calderón, who will co-moderate the second Republican presidential debate, is a staunch critic of former President Donald Trump, having accused him of empowering white supremacists and “racist” rhetoric in the past.

Fox News and Univision announced that Calderón, along with Fox News’s Dana Perino and Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney, will moderate the September 27 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Calderón, who co-moderated the last Democrat presidential debate in 2020 between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and President Joe Biden, has railed against Trump on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, over the years. 

After the first 2020 presidential debate on September 19, 2020, Calderon joined others in accusing Trump of not condemning white supremacists when moderator Chris Wallace asked if Trump would condemn them and militia groups and say that “they need to stand down.”

While Trump said “sure,” he caught criticism for stating, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” as Breitbart News Senior Editor Joel Pollak pointed out in a fact check at the time. “Wallace is the one who introduced the “stand down” language — not Trump, who was doing what he was asked,” Pollak emphasized:

“A dangerous moment of the debate,” Calderón tweeted afterward. “Trump not only does not condemn but empowers white supremacists.”

In another instance, on February 8, 2018, she claimed that Trump “does not want whites to stop being the majority, and it would be the reason for his measures against immigration”: 

After reports circulated in January 2018 that Trump wondered, in a conversation at the White House, why the U.S. would take in more immigrants from “shithole countries,” Calderón took to Twitter and derided the alleged comment as “racist.”

“President Trump said he asks himself why the United States receives immigrants from sh*thole countries like Haiti, El Salvador and African countries,” she tweeted. “A racist and denigrating comment that is only good to fulfill the commitment of feeding his electoral base”:

In October of that year, Trump floated a potential executive order for ending citizenship for illegal aliens, as Breitbart News documentedprompting Calderón to accuse him of manipulating his supporters days before the 2018 midterm elections:

“Trump explores the possibility of ending US citizenship for children of those who are not non-citizens. He knows how to keep his base’s rejection of immigrants alive just days before the election,” she wrote. 

On March 20, 2020, a week after Trump declared a national emergence due to the coronavirus pandemic, she criticized him for calling it the “‘Chinese’ virus.”

“Demonizing others at times when we have to come together to fight this pandemic. Donald Trump crossed ‘corona’ and replaced it for ‘chinese,’ she wrote:

In 2023, FBI Director Christopher Wray noted the agency has ultimately “assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.”

Calderón also expressed disapproval when Trump pushed for the opening of schools during the pandemic:

“At a time when contagion cases are increasing and hospitals are filling up with patients again, Trump is pressuring and threatening to cut funds to schools that do not open within a month,” she wrote.

Breitbart News reached out to Univision’s corporate communication department on Thursday seeking comment from the news corporation or Calderón but did not immediately receive a response.

Trump has declared he will not attend any of the GOP debates, citing his strong poll numbers. 

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” he wrote in a Truth Social post on August 20:


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