Who Invited Donald Trump To Mexico? The Idea Isn't A New One
Donald Trump surprised the world by announcing that he will visit Mexico on Wednesday — the same day he will give a major immigration policy speech. But Trump didn't plan the visit to the United States' southern neighbor on his own; he was invited there. Former Mexican president Vincente Fox initially invited Trump to see "the real Mexico" that Trump has been vilifying since the first day of his campaign last year. Fox later changed his mind and told Trump to stay out, but Trump was later formally invited to visit by the current Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, who did not rescind his invitation despite overwhelming opposition from his citizens.
Fox extended the invitation to Trump back in May, during a spate of interviews centered around the controversial presidential candidate's foreign policy regarding Mexico. Fox had apologized to Trump for his previous comments about the funding of Trump's proposed border wall, when he said that Mexico was "not going to pay for that f-----g wall." During an interview on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox changed tack and invited Trump for a visit. “I think it’s very important to invite Donald Trump to come to Mexico and to learn about the real Mexico.”
Trump confirmed on his Twitter account that the visit was partially motivated by Fox's invite three months ago, though he correctly stated that Fox has effectively rescinded it based on recent comments. "Former President Vicente Fox, who is railing against my visit to Mexico today, also invited me when he apologized for using the 'f bomb,'" Trump tweeted late Tuesday. In anticipation of his impending trip, Fox appeared on CNN's New Day program to bash both Trump and Peña Nieto.
"Trump is using Mexico, is using President Peña to push his sinking poll numbers," said Fox. "I really expect from him, as all 130 million Mexicans, all of our great brother Mexicans in the United States, an explanation from both, from President Peña and Trump himself." Unsurprisingly, many Mexicans are extremely unhappy at the idea of Trump coming to their country. Trump has just a 2 percent approval rating in Mexico.
Peña Nieto did explain his rationale for inviting Trump on his Twitter account on Tuesday. "I invited the candidates for President of the United States to discuss about bilateral relationship. Tomorrow, I will greet Trump," he tweeted. "I believe in dialogue to promote the interests of Mexico in the world and mainly to protect Mexicans wherever they are."
Although Peña Nieto seems genuinely interested in meeting with Trump to discuss foreign policy, despite the blowback from his constituency, Trump seems to be treating the trip as more of a joke, rather than a serious visit to a foreign state. The trip was hastily organized, won't include reporters, and Trump tweeted the snippy comment about Fox's rescinded invitation. The outcome of the trip could vary widely, but given Trump's imminent foreign policy speech, it likely won't change the direction of his campaign.