Congress has failed over a 40-year period to repair border security so President Donald Trump is taking up the challenge, says Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy.
Ruddy was on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" Monday night to debate host Chris Cuomo on border security and the building of a wall as the government shutdown continues in its third week.
"Everybody talks about a national emergency, let's talk about a national disgrace. It's called Congress. They've had 40 years to fix the border, every president has promised they're going to fix it," Ruddy said.
"He's finally confronting the fact that we have a border problem, and he's holding the feet to the fire. Congress has done nothing all of these decades. Not years, decades."
The partial government shutdown began Dec. 22 after lawmakers could not agree on funding a border wall between the United States and Mexico. With Democrats now in control of the House, they have vowed not to allocate one cent toward a wall.
Trump has changed the messaging to indicate the wall may be a fence made of steel slats, but Democrats have given no indication that they will deviate from their position.
Ruddy said Trump, who will address the nation Tuesday night ahead of a visit to the border Thursday, is willing to negotiate.
"We have a president that actually fulfills campaign promises. I know that's pretty shocking to people at CNN, but I think it's admirable, and I think he's a guy that likes to get results," Ruddy said. "Donald Trump is a guy that likes compromise. It's [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats that won't budge one inch."
Ruddy added that Democrats have "voted in the past for border security, protective barriers … now all of a sudden it's somehow being racist if you want a border."
Ruddy concluded that he believes Trump should bend a little to end the shutdown — but only if some money is earmarked for the wall.
"I think the president is making a point here. I do think that he should at some point compromise, as long as he gets some money for border security and border protective barriers," he said.
Ruddy noted he strongly backs comprehensive immigration reform and suggested most of the funding for a protective barrier on the border should be negotiated in such legislation.
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