Donald Trump heads to Mexico today to meet with president Enrique Peña Nieto. The ninety minute meeting is scheduled for 3pm Mexico time (2pm Eastern), after which Trump flies to Phoenix for his immigration speech.
Whether you like Trump or not, you must admit Trump has guts.
This week Mexican media have been obsessing over the sudden death of singer Juan Gabriel. Normally Spanish-language media in the U.S. dedicate most of their air time taking out the sledge-o-matic and going full Gallagher on Trump, but they are pikers compared to Mexican politicians and Peña Nieto himself, who has compared Trump to both Hitler and Mussolini.
By going to Mexico before today’s speech on immigration, Trump has everything to gain.
Larry O’Connor explains (emphasis added):
This is a chance for Trump to show that he can play the role of statesman and diplomat.
A fearless one at that,
After all, if he’s willing to meet with the Mexican President after all of the rhetoric from his campaign and the vitriol from critics of his order security policy, he could do business with anyone. The meeting cuts directly across one of the more effective memes of the Clinton campaign in which the former Secretary of State has been able to capitalize on the perception that Trump is an inexperienced loose cannon who would embarrass the United States on the international stage.
If Pena Nieto decides to grandstand and trash Trump after the meeting by suggesting that he is unqualified to deal with international issues, he could actually help Trump by making the GOP candidate look like “the bigger man” and allow the billionaire real estate magnet to proclaim that it’s the Mexican government that is intransigent and this is why the US needs to take a hard line.
And, to top it off, Trump can claim in his immigration speech that he pressured Peña Nieto into listening to him.
Never mind that Peña Nieto invited both candidates; “The world is run by those who show up”, and Trump is the one who showed up for the meeting.
The Hillary campaign is having conniptions. Trump went to Louisiana to bring flood aid, while Obama played golf. Trump’s now in Mexico while Hillary seethes.
While Hillary is trying to run the clock to the November election, don’t forget there’s the “days since she gave a press conference clock,” too.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.