Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto may be taking a cautious stance in his public comments on President Donald Trump, but the man who currently figures to be his successor is showing no such restraint.
In a 90-minute interview Tuesday in New York, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the radical outsider who’s the early frontrunner in next year’s election, blasted Trump’s “campaign of hatred” against Mexican immigrants, accused him of violating human rights laws, called his border wall plan a “propaganda” tool and said he couldn’t wait to handle the renegotiation of NAFTA himself.
“Pena is too quiet. And Donald Trump speaks very loudly,” Lopez Obrador said. “One doesn’t beg for liberty, one seizes it.”
It could be a foretaste of clashes to come. Mexico and the U.S. have enjoyed a cooperative relationship for decades. Trump has changed the dynamic. He’s gotten Mexicans so mad that, if the polls are right, they’re ready to elect a fiery nationalist of their own, a politician who’s spent years denouncing the way the economy is run in the interests of foreigners – in some ways, a Mexican anti-Trump.