Mexican President: Like Voldemort, We Do Not Speak Trump’s Name
Donald Trump often bashes Mexicans. Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico's president, has a new strategy to fight back.
As Donald Trump continues to roll to the Republican presidential nomination, in part due to harsh rhetoric toward Mexican immigrants, former presidents of America's southern neighbor have fired back. Vicente Fox has called him crazy and a false prophet, while Felipe Calderón likened Trump to Hitler. Current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has a different strategy.
As Donald Trump continues to roll to the Republican presidential nomination, in part due to harsh rhetoric toward Mexican immigrants, former presidents of America’s southern neighbor have fired back. Vicente Fox has called him crazy and a false prophet, while Felipe Calderón likened Trump to Hitler. Current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has a different strategy.
Speaking to reporters in Mexico City Tuesday, Francisco Guzman, a high-ranking official in Peña Nieto’s administration, said Mexican officials would not criticize Trump, or any other American presidential candidate, by name. Instead, Peña Nieto is launching an outreach program at Mexican consulates across the country to remind the American public of the contributions Mexico makes to the United States. Millions of American tourists flock south each year, and the annual trade between the United States and Mexico is more than $500 billion.
“We could win the front page of all the newspapers here or in other places with a swear word, and the next day that would not be good for anyone,” he said. “What the government will do is deploy a greater effort to counteract the misinformation about the bilateral relationship, about the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the United States, but in a very neutral way.”
“It is not to go against one candidate,” he added.
Guzman didn’t mention Trump by name, but it’s clear that the motivation for the plan is the GOP front-runner, who moved closer to the nomination after winning seven primaries on Super Tuesday. Trump has made a cottage industry of bashing Mexicans. He has promised to build a wall, which he would make Mexico pay for, to stop illegal immigration into the United States. He has also called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers who bring drugs over the border.
It’s rare for current or former foreign government officials to get involved in U.S. presidential politics, but Trump has caused several to make an exception. Fox and Guzman join British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has called Trump “divisive, stupid, and wrong.”
And this strategy has failed among Republicans. For months, mainstream Republicans ignored Trump in the hopes that his campaign would fizzle out. As Trump’s resounding victory on Tuesday shows, that’s a losing strategy.
Photo credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
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