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Mexico To Trump: No, We Won’t Pay For Your Wall

Donald Trump Speaking Closeup

One of the standard lines of Donald Trump’s stump speech, or perhaps it should be called a “stump stream-of-consciousness” since the man never seems to have prepared remarks of any kind, is the idea that he is going to build a wall at the Mexican border. Notwithstanding the logistical and legal problems that such an idea would represent — including the fact that parts of the border quite literally divide towns and cities in Texas and Mexico and that many parts of the area where such a wall would be built are private property — Trump’s idea of getting Mexico to foot the bill isn’t going over very well in Mexico City:

 Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration said there’s no truth to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s assertion that the nation would pay for a wall along the border between the countries.

“Of course it’s false,” Eduardo Sanchez, Pena Nieto spokesman, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “It reflects an enormous ignorance for what Mexico represents, and also the irresponsibility of the candidate who’s saying it.”

Sanchez said the government hasn’t taken Trump’s statements on the campaign trail as serious proposals. The majority of Mexicans in the U.S. follow the nation’s laws, and immigrants make up an important part of the American workforce, Sanchez said. Trump has said Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S.

(…)

Throughout the course of his presidential campaign, Trump has assured voters that his plan for a wall would be subsidized by the Mexican government.

“I watch politicians come on: ‘can you imagine, Sean, he’s saying Mexico’s going to pay? They’ll never pay.’ And I’m saying, that’s like a hundred percent,” Trump told Hannity. “That’s not like 98 percent. Sean, it’s a hundred percent they’re [going to] pay. And if they don’t pay, we’ll charge ’em a little tariff. It’ll be paid. But we need the wall.”

Sanzhez disputed that his government would fund such a project as well as the need for it.

“Mexicans in the U.S. work with passion, they do their jobs well,” Sanchez said. “His comments reflect an enormous lack of knowledge of the reality in the U.S.”

Sanchez’s remarks are spot on, of course, because Trump also seems to have an enormous lack of knowledge of reality in the world in general or the United States in particular, which is why he’s able to make ridiculous assertions such as the one he makes about a border wall paid for by Mexico. Some of Trump’s supporters have asserted that he could achieve this goal through tariff on Mexican imports and other means of taxing transactions that originate in Mexico. In reality, of course, such a measure would be a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and would poison America’s relationships not only with Mexico, but also with Canada and many of our other trading partners with whom we have agreements similar to NAFTA. None of this matters to Trump’s supporters, of course, because they aren’t supporting him because they believe he can actually accomplish what he says he will do, but because of what he says. At the same time, though, it would be nice if some of Trump’s opponents, who seem afraid to really challenge him, or the media, which is mostly just obsessed with the circus atmosphere of his campaign, would hold his feet to the fire on some of these ridiculous claims he makes.

These comments by the Mexican government also raise the interesting question of how the international community is perceiving this latest development in American politics known as the Trump campaign. The British tabloids, of course, are having their usual fun, but there doesn’t seem to have been much commentary from more serious sources overseas, and very little indication of what the man or woman on the street might thing about Trump, his nonsense, and the fact that he is presently the front runner for the Republican nomination for President. More importantly, one wonders what the Russians, the Chinese, and the Iranians think of this man. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter because, as I said, the odds that Donald Trump will be elected President are about the same as there being a parade of unicorns down Pennsylvania Avenue at Noon tomorrow. At the same time, though, it strikes me that this is yet another one of those times when we aren’t presenting our best face to the world.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CrustyDem says:

    build a wall at the Mexican border and get Mexican border.

    Not sure where you’re going with that sentence.

    It’s just absurd. Trump can do anything because he says he can do anything. And if you check in with the Fox News media, geniuses like Hannity are saying that Trump has a clear, comprehensive plan that’s completely reasonable.

    As always, the only thing Trump brings to the table is demagoguery..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  2. al-Ameda says:

    “I watch politicians come on: ‘can you imagine, Sean, he’s saying Mexico’s going to pay? They’ll never pay.’ And I’m saying, that’s like a hundred percent,” Trump told Hannity. “That’s not like 98 percent. Sean, it’s a hundred percent they’re [going to] pay. And if they don’t pay, we’ll charge ‘em a little tariff. It’ll be paid. But we need the wall.”

    All of his idiocy reminds me of the joke:
    Q: Why do all of Trump”s buildings and ‘resorts’ have Trump’s name prominently displayed on them?
    A: So that the banks and the courts can easily identify his properties during bankruptcy proceedings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  3. @CrustyDem:

    That must have been a thought fragment that I left on the sentence. Fixed.

    As for the rest of your comment, it’s been quite interesting to me that most of the conservative new media types are very anti-Trump but the talk radio crowd, including not just Hannity, but also Limbaugh, Levin, and Laura Ingraham, are carrying his water.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. JohnMcC says:

    OMG! Mexico is in BIG trouble. You know how mad Mr Trump got at China for their currency devaluations, right?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/donald-trump-takes-swipe-chinas-move-devalue-its-currency-n408326

    And just like that, the whole port city of Tainjin just goes BLOOOEY!

    Run, Pedro! Run!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    The entire world is looking at Trump and laughing and at the same time fearing a Trump presidency as they should.. I don’t think Trump will ever become president but then again I never thought he would make it this far.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. CSK says:

    Trump doesn’t want to be president. But I’ve become convinced that he thinks he can buy or own the next president. Yes, I know that sounds delusional, but face it, we’re dealing here with a pathological narcissist.

    Look at how he brags about bribing various politicians, notably Hillary Clinton, claiming to have given her so much money that when he says “Jump,” she says, “How high?” He’s been playing footsie with Ted Cruz (although you truly do have to be unhinged to think Cruz will be the next president).

    Trump doesn’t care who becomes the next president, so long as he thinks he can own whoever it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. JohnMcC says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Jeeze-Areeze, Doug. Have you been noticing the comments in the Trump-et’s gathering places (breitbart, gateway pundit)? There is apparently a segment that has been solidly Repub for decades that have decided that they’ve been disrespected for the last time, by God, and they’re not going to take it. They are swearing that they’ll never, ever vote for another ‘squish’, that they’ll die before voting for Jeb!

    Maybe they’ll file complacently into their polling places and pull the R lever again next year. But, you know — maybe not.

    My sense is that there is a lumpenproletariat that will tempt someone (if not Mr Trump, someone else) to take that bunch right out of the GOP with one clean slice. Then Rincey Prius and friends are going to have to try to split the difference between a party that will never win another national election (no latinos, no millennials) or a party that is ceasing to exist as a national party.

    POPCORN!!! Happy Days!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Ah, that’s ratings, Doug. Levin, Limbaugh, and Ingraham are all fighting for a bigger slice of the same audience pie: people so insensate with rage that they’ve lost any tenuous grasp they might once have had on reason and logic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  9. grumpy realist says:

    On the other hand, is this honestly any crazier than what some of the other candidates have said? Huckabee claims he’s going to call out the DOJ, backed up by the military, to shut down Planned Parenthood.

    You coddle your crazies for years on end, never slapping them down, and finally you look around and discover that the base of your party is nuts.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  10. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Yes, but the point about the crazies is that they don’t think they’ve been coddled–they believe that they’ve been spit upon and vilified by the Republican establishment for years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  11. Slugger says:

    Trump shows us that democracy requires leadership and a commitment to comity of the leaders. Democracy has always been thought to be unstable and vulnerable to demagoguery by its critics who include aristocrats who think leadership should be genetic, fascist who believe in the “Führerprinzip”, and leftists who believe in the “vanguard of the proletariat.” Having informed, intelligent people in positions of power who are not motivated by narrow visions of personal gain is necessary for democracy to work; I would call this the Cincinnatus role in honor of George Washington.
    We live in a world of money worship, celebrity worship, and narrow personal gain worship. It is not possible for this soil to grow anything other than Trumps. Every old person who votes against a school bond, every politician talking about sending other peoples’ children to war, and everyone who is a NIMBYist creates this.
    Sorry for ranting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  12. gVOR08 says:

    this is yet another one of those times when we aren’t presenting our best face to the world.

    Doug Mataconis, master of understatement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  13. Tyrell says:

    @CSK: Yes, and there are some indications that he may be running to help someone else possibly get elected .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. KM says:

    @Slugger:
    *sigh* In other words, when you draw from a pool of selfish a-holes, don’t be surprised you end up with a selfish a-hole to represent you. The inherent trouble with democracy is We the People are made up of us: the jerk who cut you off this morning on the highway, the linecutter who can’t wait 5 extra minutes, the parent who lets their kids scream endingly. However, we’ve always been like this – there was no golden time people didn’t value high status, money or not want “undesirables” in their backyard. This is the modern age fallacy; that things are worse now because you can see more of it faster.

    The difference is Andrew Jackson could be an utter ass** and you MIGHT read about it a few months later through a editor’s filter if you could read. Trump you can watch be an ass in real time and then comment on it to him almost instantaneously. Technology changed, people haven’t.

    ** FYI, the reason the Democrat symbol is what it is is because Jackson got called a jackass often and loved the image. Being a jerk in politics is old hat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  15. Davebo says:

    @Tyrell:

    Well, it’s not like it takes 3 dimensional chess to confuse the rubes.

    You go to war with the idiots you’ve got (cultivated for decades). If you get beaten by a bunch of unarmed teenage girls well… At least you can say you lost to girls!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Slugger: THIS! I wish I had more upvotes to give you.

    …but there doesn’t seem to have been much commentary from more serious sources overseas, and very little indication of what the man or woman on the street might thing about Trump…

    Um, Doug? You do realize that the election is still over a year away, right? It may come as a surprise to you, but in many parts of the world, serious people and serious sources have other things than US pre-primary joustings that call for their attention.

    Repeat after me: It’s not all about me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. Hal_10000 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As for the rest of your comment, it’s been quite interesting to me that most of the conservative new media types are very anti-Trump but the talk radio crowd, including not just Hannity, but also Limbaugh, Levin, and Laura Ingraham, are carrying his water.

    Because he’s entertainment for them. Why have a thoughtful debate about immigration policy when you can promise that Mexico will pay for a wall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. bruce lorraine says:

    Certainly is a bunch of folks in these parts who peer down their noses at Trump
    supporters from their perches of pseudo intellectual superiority and higher moral ground while fanning themselves with their God given right to be stupid. Amusing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 15

  19. wr says:

    @bruce lorraine: “Certainly is a bunch of folks in these parts who peer down their noses at Trump supporters from their perches of pseudo intellectual superiority”

    Nope. Nothing pseudo about it. That’s REAL intellectual superiority. Sorry if that hurts your feelings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  20. HankP says:

    Are you seriously going to start fact checking Trump? Say goodbye to your nights and weekends, and even then you’ll never keep up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. MikeSJ says:

    If you want to get technical about it a President Trump could get Mexico to pay for a border wall.

    It wouldn’t be pretty but he could tell them for every million he thinks Mexico owes for the wall Trump will deport 10,000 illegal Mexican citizens.

    That’d get their attention in a hurry. Mexico has for a very long time been happy to export their poor to America rather than clean up the mess they’ve made of their country.

    I am not a Trump fan but the Mexican government certainly is in no position to criticize him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  22. Neil Hudelson says:

    @bruce lorraine:

    So kindly point out how we are wrong about Trump. You can complain all you want about our “pseudo-intellectualism” but I don’t see you offering up evidence on how Trump is actually eminently qualified to be President, and that building a wall and making Mexico pay for it will totes work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  23. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @MikeSJ:

    It wouldn’t be pretty but he could tell them for every million he thinks Mexico owes for the wall Trump will deport 10,000 illegal Mexican citizens.

    That’s an interesting point, but it does raise the question: What does it cost the US govt to find and deport 10,000 illegal mexicans?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  24. grumpy realist says:

    Something I just had to quote (snipped from the Financial Times):

    His style is not even nouveau riche so much as it is last-week-lottery-winner. To Mr Trump, being a billionaire means plating everything in gold and slapping his name everywhere in huge block letters. It means that he gets to say whatever pops into his head and never has to say he is sorry. His celebrity “brand” is an alpha-male fantasy of wealth and power, revolving around the pleasure he takes in firing and suing people who displease him. He is the only 69-year-old white guy in America who gets to live like a rap star.

    Rather than creating envy, the public role Mr Trump enacts validates the aspirations of his admirers. His popularity is an expression of reverse identity politics, which turns white males from defendants into plaintiffs in the contest of victims. He and his followers fixate on political correctness that disallows their grievances about the social transformation under way. His braggadocio and misogyny speak to male privilege lost. His male supporters regard his crude sexism not as juvenile behaviour but as a transgressive political statement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Perfect. Thanks for quoting it. I would only add that his admirers seem to equate boorishness with authenticity and true Americanism (God help us), just as Sarah Palin’s admirers (of whom Trump inherited many) regarded her yokel schtick as a sign that she was a “real American.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  26. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @bruce lorraine:

    I seriously doubt that a border guard has compelling evidence that Nieto is exporting criminals and rapists to the US.

    Intelligence gathering like that is reminiscent of GWB’s invasion of Iraq.

    And the billionaire calls those who don’t agree with the Trump intelligence network ….STUPID!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  27. Pete S says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    What does it cost the US govt to find and deport 10,000 illegal mexicans?

    Doesn’t matter, if you are spending the money to hurt poor people. See drug testing for welfare recipients, where if I remember right in every case more money was spent on the testing than was saved in welfare not given to “undeserving” recipients.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  28. JohnMcC says:

    @bruce lorraine: Ha! Thank you for the trip down memory lane! I well remember George Wallace campaigning against “suuuuudo intellekchuls.” He had a couple of great lines you should use. There was the one about “college professors who can’t park their bicycle straight.” And the one about “you know what’s in those briefcases? A peanut butter sandwich.” You have a rich tradition there, my boy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  29. CB says:

    @bruce lorraine:

    No, its that we think he’s an a**hole demagogue who is partaking in a vanity campaign for his own ego’s sake.

    But yeah, I do peer down my smug, intellectual nose at the idiots who take him seriously. Because they’re idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  30. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Countries don´t “export” people. People simply move to countries that have better socioeconomic conditions(That´s why so many Americans emigrated to South America from 2009 to 2012). Mexico can´t ban people from living their country – that´s what the Soviets did, that´s what North Koreans do, but not what Democracies do.

    Besides that, the problem is not a f* wall. The problem is that anyone can simply overstay their visas. Mexico has a National ID card and Labor Legislation that makes very difficult to hire undocumented workers. The United States has neither of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. T says:

    @Pete S: Not only was it expensive and didnt work, politicians were getting kickbacks from testing facilities…

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/gov-rick-scotts-drug-testing-policy-stirs-suspicio/nLq8f/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. ¡La Bolsa Grande! says:

    This man called Trump, this gringo zascandil, this payaso… he makes La Bolsa Grande to laugh! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He thinks Los Méjico will pay anything? La Bolsa Grande would laugh again on the screen but instead he will warn el chiste Trump: do not trifle with Imperio Azteca. We are not threatened. It is not us that will pay for this wall but YOU gringo! Just as you will pay for our doctor needs, our haciendas, even our churros! Carajo racist Trump! ¡Viva La Bolsa!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  33. MikeSJ says:

    Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 14:02

    That’s an interesting point, but it does raise the question: What does it cost the US govt to find and deport 10,000 illegal mexicans?

    It would cost far more than any savings would justify; it would break numerous laws if it was done in a large enough fashion. Would we as a nation ever do something so stupid? Yep. We would. See “Iraq War” for proof of that.

    And as noted no cost is ever too high if it involves kicking the poor in the azz. See “Emergency room costs for uninsured vs Clinics for people with Insurance” for proof of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  34. Matt says:

    @MikeSJ: The USA deported 439,000 Mexicans in 2013 and you think deporting 10,000 would have any effect?

    Could you please spend a little time educating yourself on the subject before commenting next time?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  35. MikeSJ says:

    @Matt:

    Matt, I stated 10K per million as an example of leverage on a wall that could cost billions. (yes, I do realize the wall is a fantasy)

    Not that hard to understand actually.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. RWB says:

    Here is an article about how mr “art of the deal” makes them pay in Mexico.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-06-29/donald-trump-once-got-fleeced-in-mexico-he-s-still-very-angry

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @bruce lorraine:

    Certainly is a bunch of folks in these parts who peer down their noses at Trump supporters from their perches of pseudo intellectual superiority and higher moral ground while fanning themselves with their God given right to be stupid. Amusing.

    You used a lot or words to say, “I support Donald Trump, and you liberals are poop.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  38. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @MikeSJ:

    (yes, I do realize the wall is a fantasy)

    Good to hear that you realize that what Trump is selling is fantasy. Since it is a fantasy, why spend anytime trying to propose a method to pay for it?

    Trump is just the P.T. Barnam of the political world, when you pull back the curtain on the midway sideshows…… there is nothing there.

    But that seems to appeal to a goodly number of Rs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. Matt says:

    @MikeSJ: We deported 43x the amount without developing leverage.

    Are you advocating that we go house to house checking everyone’s papers?

    That’s the only way you’re going to find more to deport.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  40. grumpy realist says:

    @Matt: I think MikeSJ was simply using 10,000 as a “unit of immigrants to deport” when trying to figure how much deporting all 41 million of them would end up costing us.

    A hell of a lot more than the Iraq war is my suspicion….

    I wonder what the crazy right would do if the next President said: “ok, we don’t have unlimited amounts of money for everything. We can EITHER have this war with Iran that you neocons are all clamoring for, OR we can find and deport all the illegal immigrants that you claim are destroying the US economy. We don’t have enough money for both. So which is it?”

    If we play our cards right we might be able to rip the Republican party in half over the issue…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  41. MM says:

    Oh boy, watching you Trump haters heads explode as he continues to climb in the polls is going to be fun.

    So glad you are willing to take the despicable president of Mexico’s bs as gospel truth. He’ll be singing another story when he’s forced to deal with the poverty and crime these illegals are bringing with them as they break our laws when they’ll be deported back to their shithole country.

    When there’s tariffs on every frigging Mexican blueberry and a 30% tax on every Western Union money order going to Mexico, I guess we’ll see Mexico paying for that wall, won’t we?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  42. gVOR08 says:

    @MM: ROFLMAO = head exploding?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  43. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @MM:

    When there’s tariffs on every frigging Mexican blueberry …..

    Guess you don’t know how tariffs really work.

    In the meanwhile, I’ve yet to hear the donald say that, under his presidency, US employers who hire undocumented will be jailed and their assets confiscated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  44. al-Ameda says:

    @MM:

    Oh boy, watching you Trump haters heads explode as he continues to climb in the polls is going to be fun.

    Haters?
    I’m a Democrat, and believe me, I don’t hate Trump, I love Trump, he’s a god send. Why? He’s sucking the all of the air out of the Republican Room. Plus, he’s a self-proclaimed successful businessman who’s filed for bankruptcy 4 times. Democrats could hardly ask for more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  45. grumpy realist says:

    @MM: Yep, and when every tomato in the US costs $3 because nobody wants to pick them at the present wages you can blame Mexico for that as well….

    Are you 13? Because no competent adult would be making the arguments you are making and expecting to be believed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  46. James Loftus says:

    @CSK: Mr. Mataconis: I was trying to figure out who you are. Thanks for the clarification with the “talk radio” comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. MM says:

    So $3 tomatoes are a problem but illegals destroying infrastructure, over burdening hospitals and schools, sucking up government goodies on a pace that even outdoes all other population segments and historic & record crime rates aren’t. Right pal?

    You’re pathetic.

    BTW I grow my own tomatoes-and load my own ammo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  48. MM says:

    You’re a dem and ADMIT IT???? Whoa.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  49. Grewgills says:

    Don’t feed the troll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  50. Monala says:

    @grumpy realist: Reminds me of a political cartoon I saw back in the ’90s: an elephant wearing a GOP button finds a magic lamp and rubs it. The genie comes out and promises to grant him one wish: “I can either get rid of Slobodan Milosevic, or get rid of Bill Clinton.” Two panels pass in which the elephant just stands there, so finally the frustrated genie says, “Well?! What’s it going to be?”

    The elephant replies, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0