Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) sparred with Fox News's Bret Baier Tuesday night over President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE's response to the migrant "caravan" making its way toward the border.
"The president said it was his tone, he should tone things down. That's absolutely right. He shouldn't be talking about a made-up caravan," Rendell said on Fox News, arguing that the president's hard-line immigration rhetoric is alienating suburban voters.
"Nobody with half a brain thinks they're small-pox carriers," Rendell said.
"Well, it's not a made-up caravan. There's actually a caravan," Baier responded. "And there are several of them."
"But with small pox and leprosy being carried by people?" Rendell asked.
"No, you just said 'a made-up caravan,' " Baier said. "There is a caravan and it is an issue."
"It's an issue," Rendell said. "But only an issue in President Trump's mind."
"These people are not trying to get in America illegally," he added. "They're seeking asylum, which has always been the right of people all over the world."
Trump has made the caravan and immigration policy more broadly an important part of his closing arguments in the 2018 midterm campaigns.
Trump said Monday that he wished he could take a "much softer tone" generally.
"I feel to a certain extent I have no choice," he said. "But maybe I do, and maybe I could be softer from that standpoint."