Saturday, April 20, 2019

Mexican President Pena Nieto Visits the White House

Barack Obama, Enrique Pena Nieto

Hours after Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, President Barack Obama opened the White House to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The White House shrugged off suggestions that the visit was meant to highlight differences between Democrats and Republicans, particularly on attitudes toward Latinos.

“I think it’s fair to say that almost anything that President Obama did on Friday would be viewed as a sharp contrast to the agenda that’s being put forward by the other side,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “But in this case, it’s been a while since the president has hosted the president of Mexico here at the White House.”

Pena Nieto has criticized Trump’s tone, telling a Mexico City-based newspaper earlier this year that Trump speaks the type of language that gave rise to dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Mexico’s leader has also said Trump’s negative attitude toward Mexicans, including saying they bring drugs and crime to America and calling them rapists, is hurting his country’s relations with the U.S., and that Mexico will not pay for a border wall.

Earnest said the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that both countries have signed on to, economic issues, border security, drug trafficking and climate change are among the topics that Obama and Pena Nieto are likely to discuss. “There’s plenty on the agenda that doesn’t involve the Republican nominee,” Earnest said. Pena Nieto tweeted Thursday after arriving in Washington that he was happy to be in the U.S. capital to continue productive talks with Obama about the U.S.-Mexico agenda. Nieto’s only other White House visit came in January 2015.

Last month, Obama blasted Trump’s “loose talk and sloppiness,” arguing that the candidate’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from coming to the U.S. could lead to discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities. He said Trump was a “dangerous” threat to the nation’s safety, religious freedom and diversity. Mexico’s President has said his government will put in effort to work with whoever succeeds Obama in January.

FOX News Latino