Geraldo Rivera criticizes Republican ‘party of scolds’
Geraldo Rivera on Friday blasted the Republican Party as a “party of scolds” that needs to once again go “back to the party of inclusion” as he continued a media tour over his potential Senate bid.
Rivera, 69, announced on Thursday he is “truly contemplating” running for Senate in New Jersey as a Republican. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is up for reelection in 2014 and has yet to definitively say whether he’ll run, while Newark Mayor Cory Booker has announced he is exploring a run for the seat.
“The Republican Party, though, nationally has drifted away from the party of business, the party of free enterprise, the party of ‘come on, use your native abilities to pick yourself up by your bootstraps,’ and we’ve become the party of scolds,” Rivera said on “Studio B with Shepard Smith.” “The party of no, you can’t have an abortion. No, if you’re gay you can’t be married. No, if you’re an immigrant you can’t possibly think you are going to get on line to become a citizen of the United States.”
“We’ve got to go back to the party of inclusion,” he added. “The big tent Republican Party where we say to the Democrats, ‘listen, we’re not forfeiting the black vote to you just automatically, or the Latino vote, or the Asian vote.’”
The Republican Party is more than the “cliché” of recent years, Rivera said. He then blasted the “nativist” wing of the GOP for abandoning President George W. Bush on comprehensive immigration reform.
“They made the brown skin people and other immigrants the enemy,” he said. “Talking about machine guns on the border and self-deportation and concepts like that, why would a Latino person want to vote for a Republican under those circumstances?”
Still, Rivera said he has not made the commitment to run yet, but that it is something he is, as he said Thursday, “truly contemplating.” “It’s a great way, I think, to end my professional life, to give back in a sense,” Rivera said.
“It pays a lot less than our current gig,” he added.
And as the interview wrapped, Rivera told host Shep Smith that “I haven’t made the decision, but I will definitely invite you to the victory party.”
His appearance on Smith’s show wasn’t the only stop on Rivera’s Friday media tour — he wrote a column on Fox News Latino and also stopped by “Fox & Friends” to discuss his possible run.
“The Senate race is still a good year away, so I’ve got some time to hone a message and ride my Harley to all parts of the Garden State,” Rivera, who stops by the morning show each week, said.