Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Trump Visits Mexico: Gamble Pays Off As Trump Looks Presidential. Will It Translate Into Votes?

Mexican President Nieto: "I told him I wouldn't pay for the wall." Trump: "I will build a great wall along our Southern Border."


September 3, 2016

Donald Trump looked presidential shaking hands with Enrique Pena Nieto

It was the high point of a rough August for the Donald.

Towering over Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Donald Trump managed to look downright presidential. He controlled the conversation by picking which reporters could ask him questions (a right ordinarily reserved to the host). He said nothing especially controversial, by Trump standards.

And most of all, he managed to meet with a foreign leader of an important US constituency. Benjamin Netanyahu famously refused to meet President Barack Obama in 2012, ostensibly because he was busy, but really because the two men despise each other and the Israeli PM hoped he would help challenger Mitt Romney with Jewish and Evangelical voters, by snubbing Obama

Experts (those nattering but friendly Nabobs of negativity on Fox), have been saying for a while that if Trump wants to win this election, it's still possible. But he has to reach out to groups either ignored or put off by his campaign, namely African Americans or Hispanics. They say that Ronald Reagan beat Ford in 1980, despite low poll numbers, by going into black and Latino neighborhoods. There, in front of TV cameras, candidate Reagan talked about how the Democratic Party has failed minority voters by creating "a culture of dependency and broken families." Some minority voters were convinced.

Trump took a longshot gamble, says Charles Krauthammer, and it paid off handsomely.

The invitation from Nieto was a surprise. Nieto's predecessor, Vicente Fox, advised Trump to skip the meeting, but he did not do so. It's actually rather surprising that Nieto would agree to meet with Trump, given that he's down in the polls, unlikely to win, and of course, has stopped just short of saying he would nuke Guadalajara.

Nieto flatly denied Donald Trump’s statement that the two did not discuss who would pay for the GOP nominee’s proposed multibillion-dollar border wall, saying, “I made it clear Mexico will not pay.”

“Who pays for the wall? We didn’t discuss it,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question at a joint news conference after the closed-door meeting between the two in Mexico City. But in a tweet from Peña Nieto's official Twitter account sent later on Wednesday, the president said, “At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear Mexico will not pay for the wall.”

Mexico’s foreign minister, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, tweeted that Peña Nieto had “expressed the grievance and outrage of Mexicans for insults and offenses” by Trump in their private meeting.

While Trump polls in the 60's with white voters, he polls under 5% with African Americans and under 15% with Hispanics. Both groups are socially conservative by nature, and it is entirely possible that Donald could shift the polling into his favor to say, 30% of each group. This could make the Great Excommunicator competitive in November.

Donald Trump concluded his first meeting with a foreign leader, and flew to Phoenix Arizona. There, he doubled down Wednesday night on his vow to build a "great wall along the southern border" -- and make Mexico pay for it -- while outlining a more focused mission for the deportation force he's promised to create.

In a speech in Phoenix meant to clarify his immigration positions after appearing to soften his stance, the Republican presidential nominee outlined a hardline set of proposals for tackling illegal immigration. He did not, however, definitively call for removing all illegal immigrants in the country.

He said he would focus on deporting the estimated 2 million "criminal aliens" on day one. He would also make a priority of certain groups like gang members and visa overstays for removal. He insisted that any illegal immigrant could be subject to deportation under his administration.

"There will be no amnesty," he said, adding that no illegal immigrant would be legalized without first leaving and coming in through "the front door."

Trump said that America's current immigration system "serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful politicians. . . . . Let me tell you who it does not serve, it does not serve you the American people. It doesn't serve you," he said.

Trump Tweeted: Hillary Clinton didn't go to Louisiana, and now she didn't go to Mexico. She doesn't have the drive or stamina to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

You know what would be a really HUGE gamble? Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I'll bet you a Harriet Tubman $20 bill that we see The Russian strongman meeting Trump in October. But then again, the former Secretary of State has many foreign friends, so she could play this game too. Stay tuned. This is about to get interesting


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