Mexico to confront criticisms from US political campaigns
E. EDUARDO CASTILLO
Mar. 01, 2016
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government has come up with a plan to confront criticism of the country during the U.S. presidential campaigns, but it doesn't include getting into verbal duels with the candidates.
The government instead will approach the campaigns of the Republican and Democratic nominees once they are chosen and share information about how the U.S. relationship with Mexico is an opportunity and not a threat, Francisco Guzman, an official in President Enrique Pena Nieto's office, said Tuesday.
Outlining the plan to journalists, he said Mexican consulates in the U.S. have been instructed to start meeting with organizations and public opinion leaders to discuss the contributions Mexicans make to the United States.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump, in particular, has drawn attention in Mexico by talking about Mexican migrants being rapists and bringing drugs to the United States, and he has repeatedly promised to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
Two former Mexican presidents struck back at Trump in the past week. Vicente Fox called him crazy and a false prophet, while Felipe Calderon compared Trump to Hitler in the way he plays on people's anxieties.
Guzman said Mexico's current administration will not get into confronting individuals.
"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," Guzman added. "It is not to go against one candidate."
Annual trade between the two countries amounts to more than $500 billion.
Guzman's comments came on Super Tuesday in the U.S. with each party's candidates competing in 11 states. He said he expected comments by American candidates to become more moderate as the contest advances.
Just last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called some of the campaign rhetoric "damaging" during a visit to Mexico City and assured his hosts it did not represent the attitudes of the majority of Americans.