Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is set to cross the border for a last-minute meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto — the man who once likened the White House hopeful to Hitler and Mussolini.
The two will reportedly meet a few hours before Trump is supposed to deliver a speech on his immigration policy in Arizona.
The boisterous business mogul, who has relentlessly mocked Mexico and its people for over a year now, announced his surprise visit via Twitter.
I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2016
The Mexican government also confirmed this meeting on social media.
Invité a México a los candidatos a la Presidencia de EEUU, para conversar sobre la relación bilateral. Mañana recibo a Donald Trump.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) August 31, 2016
As The Washington Post reports, President Nieto’s office sent out an invitation to both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last week. The billionaire, who has made illegal immigration a hallmark of his quickly derailing presidential campaign, began considering the offer after facing increased scrutiny over contradicting statements on the matter.
Although the meeting is an apparent move to shake up the election trail, its irony is not lost on people.
It's very clear that Trump's visit is just a stunt to pander to Latino voters and President Nieto seems to have been fooled by the facade.
The charade couldn't be more obvious and will undoubtedly fall flat. Trump can't possibly believe that Mexican citizens will suddenly change their unfavorable views of him.
After all, The Donald has spent a significant part of his campaign promising to build a huge wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it. He also called Mexican immigrants “rapists” — twice, and repeatedly linked the rise in crime and violence to undocumented Mexican immigrants.
Just because he softened up, or flip-flopped, on his immigration plans last week, doesn't negate any of the racist principles he built his campaign upon.
The internet, unsurprisingly, had a lot to say about the surprise trip.
Wait, if all 300 million or so of us get together we can build that wall in like two hours while Trump is in Mexico.— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) August 31, 2016
Looking forward to photo of Trump wearing a sombrero and eating a taco bowl in Mexico. (Do they have taco bowls there?)— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) August 31, 2016
The people of Mexico line up to greet the possible arrival of Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/CA41MhYXpl— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) August 31, 2016
Maybe the President of Mexico is going to have Trump arrested tomorrow. Wouldn't that be fun?— Steve Crandall (@JayandSteve) August 31, 2016
Most people just wanted the racist billionaire to leave and never come back.
Trump has run for president for more than a year without once visiting a predominantly black community. But he'll go to Mexico on a whim.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 31, 2016
"Welcome to Mexico, Mr. Trump."— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) August 31, 2016
"Where is President Nieto and staff?"
"Something suddenly came up. I am Pablo, the head taco bowl maker."
How to revive interest in Trump campaign— Daniel Lin (@DLin71) August 31, 2016
-Go to Mexico
-Jump shark on waterskis
-Long lost Trump twin
if trump goes to mexico i am invoking "no takebacks"— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 31, 2016
I wish Mexico would keep him until he releases his taxes. Or just keep him.— cathy rhodes (@zackmomma) August 31, 2016
Meanwhile, Clinton campaign released a statement on the impending visit.
“From the first day of his campaign, Donald Trump has painted Mexicans as ‘rapists’ and criminals and has promised to deport 16 million people, including children and U.S. citizens. He has said we should force Mexico to pay for his giant border all. He has said we should ban remittances to families in Mexico if Mexico doesn’t pay up,” the statement read. “What ultimately matters is what Donald Trump says to voters in Arizona, not Mexico, and whether he remains committed to the splitting up of families and deportation of millions."
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst