Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2016
Reversing a more diplomatic tone he set during a joint appearance with Donald Trump in the Mexican capital, President Enrique Peña Nieto called the Republican presidential candidate’s ideas a “threat to the future of Mexico.”
Peña Nieto’s hostile words came Wednesday night, hours after he met privately with Trump and shortly after the real estate mogul delivered an incendiary speech in Phoenix in which he repeatedly portrayed immigrants in the U.S. as dangerous criminals and vowed to force Mexico to pay for construction of a border wall.
Peña Nieto said Trump’s proposal to end free trade agreements and deport millions of immigrants are a danger to Mexico. “Imagine what that represents, and tell me it is not a risk to Mexico,” he said.
Peña Nieto’s decision to host Trump has been widely panned in Mexico, where people are deeply offended by Trump’s frequent and harsh criticism of Mexico and Mexican immigrants over the past year of campaigning. Former President Vicente Fox called Peña Nieto, who has been suffering badly in public opinion polls in recent months, “a traitor.”