Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hoped to score political points by meeting with Mexico’s president Enrique Pena Nieto. Trump’s wishes were shot down after Pena Nieto wrote a scathing, and unprecedented, opinion column on the failed businessman’s appearance. A sitting Mexican president had never before taken the step of writing about an American presidential candidate in print.
Pena Nieto wrote, “I was very clear in public and private to emphasize in Mexico we feel hurt and offended by his statements about Mexicans. I expressed that we deserve respect, we are honest hardworking people, we value the family and the culture of effort. Mexico and the United States are more than neighbors, we are partners and allies. In his campaign speeches, Trump has not treated us as partners, not as allies, from a distorted view of Mexico and its people. So it was important to talk to him and make clear that any future cooperation to strengthen the relationship between the two countries must be based on mutual respect. Donald Trump’s reaction was positive. I am convinced the greater the differences, the more dialogue is needed.”
The president of Mexico took the high road against the perennial low road traveling of Trump. While he describes Trump’s rhetoric that has hurt and offended Mexican citizens, he still took the meeting which outraged many of his supporters. Had Pena Nieto wanted to make a true political statement he should have told Trump he was not welcome in Mexico. However, Pena Nieto contradicted Trump’s statements about the potential border wall with Mexico. Trump says the two did not discuss who would pay for the wall, but Pena Nieto says he plainly told Trump the cost of erecting such a wall would not become the burden of Mexico.