Two months ago, Mexico’s top diplomat made international headlines for calling Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s policies “ignorant and racist.”
“When an apple’s red, it is red. When you say ignorant things, you’re ignorant,” Secretary of Foreign Affairs Claudia Ruiz Massieu told The Washington Post. She added that Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was “absurd” and “not a proposition we would even consider.”
In a visit Thursday to Sacramento, she didn’t even speak his name. Though Trump is closer than ever to the White House, having all but clinched the Republican nomination this week when his last rivals dropped out of the race, Ruiz Massieu and her team dodged or cut off every question about the businessman and his wall – in Spanish and in English.
What will Mexico’s position be ahead of the U.S. presidential election?
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“México no se pronuncia respecto de procesos internos, y particularmente respecto de procesos electorales, de otros países,” she said at a joint press conference with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.
How could Mexico fund a wall? She repeated the same answer in English.
“We do not comment on specific proposals of candidates or pre-candidates of an international electoral process of other countries.”
As reporters tried to speak with Ruiz Massieu after, she was whisked away. In the corner of the room, a booklet with “preguntas y respuestas” (questions and answers) for her visit sat atop her purse.
Despite the incendiary remarks that launched Trump’s campaign into the stratosphere – last summer, he said Mexico was sending its rapists and criminals to the United States – the country seems to have backed away from openly criticizing him in recent days. Former President Vicente Fox, who said in February he would not pay for “that f---ing wall,” apologized Wednesday and invited Trump to visit Mexico.
Trump, however, is not backing down. He told The New York Times this week that a design for the border wall would be complete within his first 100 days in office.