MEXICO CITY — Two former Mexican presidents said in separate interviews with the Washington Post that the xenophobic rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other Republicans running for president has damaged U.S.-Mexico relations and changed the way many Mexicans view Americans.
Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, who led Mexico from 2000 to 2012, said that insults from the Republicans — along with the rapturous reception such comments receive at huge rallies — show a new, alarming strain of anti-Mexican racism.
"Trump is saying stupid things, but the problem is that 40 percent of Republicans say, 'Yes, you're right,' " said Fox, 73, a former Coca-Cola executive who has long identified with the Republican Party.
In a recent interview on his ranch in central Mexico, Fox said he can scarcely believe what he's hearing from his northern neighbor: threats of mass deportations of Mexicans and other undocumented workers, revoking birthright citizenship, building a multibillion-dollar wall to keep Mexicans out — and sticking Mexico with the bill.
Trump's troubles with Mexico boiled over Thursday when Fox was quoted on Fusion TV telling interviewer Jorge Ramos, "I'm not going to pay for that f------ wall!"