Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto compared the rhetoric of Republican presidential Donald Trump to dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini on March 7.
“There have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, where these expressions of strident rhetoric have led to very ominous situations,” Pena Nieto told the Mexican newspaper Excelsior during an interview, reports The Guardian.
“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,” Pena Nieto added, notes The Guardian.
Pena Nieto was also asked if there was any scenario in which the Mexican government would pay for a border wall, as Trump has promised supporters many times, reports NBC News.
"There is no scenario," Pena Nieto replied. "I have to say that I regret [the plan], and of course, I can't agree with this American politician's position."
"I hope that prudence and restraint will prevail among the voters there, and at the end of the day there will be a government that we can seek dialogue with, as we have done with the government of the United States," Pena Nieto added, notes The Associated Press.
Pena Nieto said he plans to work with whoever is the new U.S. president in a climate "of mutual respect and joint agreements."
The Mexican president also told the El Universal newspaper on March 7: “Those that insult or end up speaking badly of Mexico do so because they don’t know Mexico. Those that speak badly of Mexicans do so because they don’t know Mexicans.”
Federico Estevez, a political science teacher at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, said Trump is likely to get a bounce from anything negative coming from the Mexican government.
“Why would you egg him on?" Estevez asked. "Anything Mexico says is bound to play in his favor. If you punch back … there you are aligned with the Democrats and you get nothing [in the bilateral relationship] as a result.”