In a surprise Twitter announcement, Donald Trump revealed he will be meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto this morning:
Trump is also scheduled to deliver a much-anticipated speech on his immigration policy later today in Arizona.
It’s an interesting and surprising strategy from Trump considering Pena Nieto is on the record comparing Trump to Hitler and Mussolini:
Asked by Excelsior whether there was a “scenario” under which Mexico would pay if Trump won the presidency, Pena Nieto was clear. “There is no scenario,” he said. “I have to say that I regret (the plan), and of course, I can’t agree with this American politician’s position.”
Pena Nieto attacked the “populism” of the Trump campaign, which he said sought to put forward “very easy, simple solutions to problems that are obviously not that easy to solve.”
“And there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of this strident rhetoric have only led to very ominous situations in the history of humanity,” the Mexican president added.
“That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in, they took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps, which humanity was going through at the time, after an economic crisis.
This is a chance for Trump to show that he can play the role of statesman and diplomat. After all, if he’s willing to meet with the Mexican President after all of the rhetoric from his campaign and the vitriol from critics of his order security policy, he could do business with anyone. The meeting cuts directly across one of the more effective memes of the Clinton campaign in which the former Secretary of State has been able to capitalize on the perception that Trump is an inexperienced loose cannon who would embarrass the United States on the international stage.
If Pena Nieto decides to grandstand and trash Trump after the meeting by suggesting that he is unqualified to deal with international issues, he could actually help Trump by making the GOP candidate look like “the bigger man” and allow the billionaire real estate magnet to proclaim that it’s the Mexican government that is intransigent and this is why the US needs to take a hard line.
Either way, Trump seems to have pull off an impressive political maneuver similar to his last-minute trip to Louisiana ten days ago to aid the flood relief effort. While Trump shows decisive and bold action, Hillary Clinton sits on the side and plays out the clock.