NBC News reports
A former Mexican president had some tough words when asked about GOP candidate Donald Trump's much-touted plan to build a border wall that he says will be paid for by Mexico.
"We are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it's going to be completely useless," said former Mexican president Felipe Calderón when asked about this at the AmCham Egypt for Business Conference on Sunday.
Calderón had harsh words about the Republican presidential race during his conversation with CNBC's Hadley Gamble, saying it was "incredible" that quite an "admirable society" like the U.S. had candidates like Trump.
"No offense, no offense to America. So Donald Trump … is ambitious but not exactly very well-informed man, I don't want to say ignorant, but he is not very well informed," said Calderón.
Donald Trump is ignorant? Calderon ought to check out a few of the other GOP candidates, including Ben Carson, who believes the Affordable Care Act is "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery" and "we're living in a Gestapo age.'" And then there is Carly Fiorina, still trying to produce that tape of Planned Parenthood no one has yet found. We not only have candidates like Trump, we have ones more reprehensible (Fiorina) than him and more divorced from reality (Carson) .
Mexican politicians such as Calderon have to speak out, not only because Trump's vow is a swipe against Mexicans, but the suggestion that the government of Mexico would pay to have its residents blocked from entering the USA is silly.
Except that it's not, because it was a spectacular tactic on the part of the real estate mogul. It combines fear of The Other with the principle most securely binding the Republican popular base with the donor base: not paying for anything that doesn't involve weapons.
Imagine that- we keep Mexicans out and do it for free!( In previous decades, it was "cut taxes and balance the budget..) As Bill Maher has pointed out endlessly, we simply will not pay for anything anymore. We send our youth off to war, but then refuse to devote sufficient resources to treat them when they come back wounded, broken physically and emotionally. President Obama proposes a $10 per barrel tax on oil to be phased in over five years, creating jobs, promoting clean vehicle research and deployment, replenishing the Highway Trust Fund, and providing improved public transportation. House Speaker Paul Ryan declares it "dead on arrival"... until the next bridge collapses- and maybe even then.
Increasingly, Trump and other GOP candidates, intimidated by attention to their Hispanic phobia while aware that terrorism sells, have cleverly framed their opposition to immigration reform in the context of terrorism. Fail to secure the (southern) border, they suggest, and ISIS will practically be in our bedrooms.
"As someone who has access to very sensitive information, I can tell you for a fact that ISIS understands our legal immigration system and is seeking to exploit it," claims one GOP presidential aspirant, one somewhat acquainted with reality, if somewhat repetitive and frightened of the governor of New Jersey. So it's not only Donald Trump who is irrational, and not only Mexicans Republicans dislike. They won't pay for anything worth paying for, and Donald Trump is only the loudest voice among them.