Trump’s rhetoric and bluster could lose US an ally in Mexico
© Getty Images

A million Mexicans and Americans cross the Mexican/ American border every day. On the same day, 365 days-a-year a billion and a half dollars’ worth of goods and services cross the border between the U.S. and its oldest neighbor, Mexico, every day.

It goes without saying that it behooves both countries to maintain the best relations. New President Donald Trump seems to have some difficulty with maintaining the excellent relations with Mexico that President George W. Bush built in his Presidency.

Bush was fortunate, he had a partner in a real President, a Mexican president, Vicente Fox, that discombobulated a 70-year-long political dynasty AKA a semi-dictatorship.

Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEx-White House stenographer: Trump is ‘lying to the American people’ Trump has the right foreign policy strategy — he just needs to stop talking The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump faces bipartisan criticism over Putin presser, blames media for coverage MORE didn’t care about good relations with Mexico so he let hacks like Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) interfere with relations with Mexico. Obama allowed the great relations Bush had built to deteriorate with gun running by his U.S. Attorney in Arizona and his bad mouthing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during his 2008 campaign.

Relations between Obama and Fox’s successor, President Felipe Calderon, didn’t improve or progress, they vegetated.

When candidate Trump opened his campaign on June 16, 2015 by berating Mexico and 150 million Mexicans, President Obama said nothing. Nothing.

The results: Mexico turned the Fox/Calderon American friendly political party (PAN) out of power and returned the infamous and corrupt leftist 80-year-old Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) into power and massive big time looting started.

Not an edition goes by that the Mexican press doesn’t report on a PRI governor or government functionary and/or their mistresses fleeing Mexico with millions of pesos and dollars in offshore bank accounts and huge property holdings in America.

Along comes President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE, not candidate Trump. On Jan. 27 Trump talked on the phone with Mexican President Ernesto Peña Nieto.

Did we have a pleasant, how are you Mr. President? No.

Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border and to have Mexico pay for his “beautiful wall” was his most declared campaign promise.

“Who’s going to pay for the wall,” Trump would chant and the crowds would scream, “Mexico.”

Peña Nieto told Trump to his face before the election that Mexico would never pay for the wall. Fox publicly told Trump over television that Mexico would not pay for Trump’s “f***ing” wall.

We now know what was said in that Jan. 27 phone call. The official transcripts were leaked by someone in the White House to the Washington Post.

Remember that Peña Nieto

told Trump to his face in September that Mexico would never pay for the “wall.” Publicly Peña Nieto

stated over and over that Mexico would never, ever, ever pay for the wall.

From the transcript, Trump: “You cannot say that to the press.” He threatened to cut off contact if Peña Nieto continued to make defiant statements… Funding “will work out in the formula somehow…it will come out in the wash, and that is okay.” But “if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”

Trump described the wall as “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”

Trump must have been thinking about all those base supporters of his in the hills of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. The problem is that Peña Nieto is termed out (one six year term, no reelection). Thus, Mexico will choose a new president next July four months before the American midterm election.

Leading a pack of potential candidates is a rabid anti-American ultra-leftist Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist “Morena” (Dark brown or black) party, a party he created exclusively to run him for President.

Twice before he has run and lost. Trump is working real hard to elect the anti-American candidate. He’s doing so without support from where he needs it.

The respected non-profit, non-partisan Texas Lyceum polled a thousand Texas adults in April and discovered that 61 percent opposed Trump’s wall on the Texas/Mexican border, only 35 percent supported it. The poll was reported in The Hill and had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Topping off Mexico’s absolute refusal to pay for his wall and polling rejection of it by people who voted for Trump in Texas, one wonders about Trump’s abilities when he orders the Mexican President to shut up and threatens him for making Trump look bad politically.

What will he title his next “Art of the Deal” book? “The Art of the Deal 2.0” or, “The pipsqueak Mexican President told me to take a hike.”

Raoul Lowery Contreras is the Author of “The Armenian Lobby & U.S. Foreign Policy” (Berkeley Press 2017) and The Mexican Border: Immigration, War and A Trillion Dollars in Trade (Floricanto Press 2016), he formerly wrote for the New American News Service and the New York Times Syndicate.  

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.