Former Mexican President Vicente Fox joined Dan & Amy to discuss President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and Fox’s ongoing war of words with Trump.
Fox called Trump “a wild animal” saying that he will nonetheless continue his effort to “domesticate the beast” that is Trump on matters of trade policy in service of the interests of both Mexico and the United States.
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Dan Proft: Dan and Amy and we’re pleased to be joined by former Mexican president Vincente Fox again. Pres. Fox, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate your time. VF: Morning. Morning Chicago. Morning USA. Goodmorning here in Mexico. Dan: Alright, now President Fox, the only person who likes to use Twitter more than Donald Trump may be you. You and Donald Trump still tweeting back and forth about things like building the wall on our southern border and paying for the wall on our southern border, and you posture towards that idea at this point? VF: It’s totally against the idea of Mexico paying for that wall. The United States, Senor Trump,they can do whatever you want. Build walls, build walls by the sea, build walls by the North, or build walls inside US side of the Mexican border. That’s your choice, but my argument is that it’s a total waste of money. The Chinese Wall never worked against the enemies. The Berlin Wall never worked against freedom. And this will not work. There are many, many other ways of doing this – of doing it to bring safe border between Mexico and United States. There is an initiative that is a bill in the US Congress presented by Kennedy and McCain. It’s a bipartisan bill which is excellent, which deals with the issue. Nobody wants unsafe borders. Nobody wants borders that are not to protect sovereign nations. The wall is not the way to go. And trying to charge it to Mexico – imposible. Dan: But President Fox, sorry to interrupt, but you have also suggested that building the wall would be somehow racist, and I note that Mexico has fencing and entry checkpoints on it’s southern border for Guatemalans, you know it’s border with Guatemala. I noted that Bibi Netanyahu said, “Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.” So why is what Mexico does on it’s southern border, what Bibi Netanyahu did on Israel’s southern border, not appropriate or racist for Trump to do on America’s southern border? VF: Netanyahu is not right. In the case of Mexico, what is discriminatory is the language, the offensive language, of Senor Trump. Having selected Mexico to discharge all of his hate and all of his discrimination because … The Canadian border in the case of trading. Canada sells more cars to the United States than Mexico does. Or he speaks about deficits. You know the US economy has a deficit with every single country in the world. Higher or lower, but it’s always a deficit. Many nations have a deficit with United States, United States has a deficit with many nations that are higher the deficit than with Mexico. So everything that he addresses in trying to get together the middle class in United States is using Mexico and blaming Mexico. And Mexico has been a very loyal friend, loyal partner. I have many, many friends right there in Chicago that came as an immigrant over a hundred years ago, coming from my community of San Cristobal. And we have been able to live together, build together, work together. So it’s just a matter of discrimination and why Mexico? Amy: President Fox, I agree with you. The Mexicans don’t want to pay for a wall that they don’t want. But on Friday, President Trump and President Nieto spoke on the phone for an hour and they decided not to discuss who is going to pay for the wall. Do you think down the road that President Nieto is going to cave, and secretly or somehow give money to Donald Trump for this wall? VF: I guess we are domesticating the beast. It remembers me my childhood when I used to domesticate horses. It’s a brutal, wild animal. Trump just shoots in any direction that he thinks is right. His brain dreams of wrong ideas, dreams hate. But that’s not the way to go. We’ve been neighbors, we’ve been friends, we’ve been partners for decades, for centuries. We had a war when we did not know how to behave, long time ago. And Mexico knows how to stand when it is greeted by a foreign nation. When, from the outside world comes a menace to Mexico, we know how to act. I just remembered President Cardenas which nationalized the oil industry. So a trade war, fighting amongst ourselves, is the one thing we can do. Those undocumented, and there are undocumented great Mexicans there working, very loyal, very productively, constructing the US economy and constructing US nation. He wants to… Yes, yes, yes, go through them and those who do not have a job, okay, send ‘em out. But those who are working for his family, because there are some working for his family, those that are working for businesses, those that are working for hospitals, those that have a nice, decent business, why is he throwing them out? The only loser then is going to be United States. Dan: Well you mentioned people of Mexican heritage working in Trump companies and on Trump projects, I suppose that cuts against the idea that he has any kind of animus against Mexico, as a people, as a country and this is more about policy disagreements. But you had previously said with respect to NAFTA, and renegotiating the terms of NAFTA, essentially America needs NAFTA more than Mexico does. VF: No, no, that’s not so. Dan: Ok, please explain. VF: We need each other. We are going to both lose many many good things that we have built together. Yes we will be affected, severely affected. But United States going to be the same, affected, severely affected. And the work he’s pretending to keep for them or bring back jobs for them, by doing so, he’s going to lose up to ten millions jobs if starts taxing Mexican imports to the United states which is over $300 billion dollars a year. That accounts for over 10 million jobs for your citizens. If he continues, there’s going to be 10 million US citizens unemployed. That and many other impacts like losing competitiveness. Remember Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, very close there to Chicago they went broke 5 years ago because they couldn’t compete with the world. They couldn’t compete with asian cars, with european cars because of the factories somewhere else. They had to be rescued. Dan: I understand your perspective on protection policies and your disposition that we’re working together, that we want Mexico to be successful, Mexico wants America to be successful, and that’s the right posture to take and perhaps everybody tone down the rhetoric. As Amy mentioned Pena Nieto and Trump agreed to do on Friday. He is former Mexican President Vicente Fox, I wish we had more time, but President Fox thanks so much for joining us, really appreciate your time. VF: No, pleasure [was mine]. Hello to all my paisanos there I’m with you. I’m going to be working with you all along to make sure our human rights are respected. To make sure that we domesticate the beast. Dan: Amy tries to domesticate the beast everyday and she fails so it’s tough enough work. Thanks President Fox. Appreciate it.