If you were left scratching you head in disbelief this week at Trump’s surprise visit to Mexico and asking yourself “what the hell was Peña Nieto thinking?!?!” you are not alone. But Peña Nieto actually didn’t just invite Trump, both presidential candidates were invited to discuss the U.S.-Mexico relationship going forward. After all, one of them will become the next U.S. president. Almost as surprising as the invitation itself was Trump jumping to accept the invitation. Some commentators pointed out that Peña Nieto was attempting to put Mexico’s foreign relations above his own popularity in case Mexico actually has to deal with a future President Trump.
Of course, Trump sounded a lot more moderate while speaking to an audience of Mexicans and next to the Mexican President—although he did subtly mention that they had discussed the wall but not who would pay for it. He let loose later that night in an immigration speech in Phoenix, by re-assuring his base that—guess what?—he will build that wall, and yes, Mexico WILL pay for it. The end result? Peña Nieto gave Trump a chance to look dignified and presidential, and ended up being a punching bag, for both Trump and the Mexican people.
Cartoon credit: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, CagleCartoons.com.