The August 31 meeting between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto was a relatively short encounter that came about after Nieto had extended Trump an invitation to visit him. Following the meeting, Nieto and Trump spoke at a joint press conference, though some conflict developed with regard to what discussed.
Trump told the media attending and viewers watching it live on television that he and Nieto had spoken about the most controversial proposal of his campaign. That involved building a wall between the United States and Mexico in an attempt to halt Mexicans from illegally entering the country. The proposal sparked outrage on its own, with Trump then adding that Mexico would pay the cost of building the wall.
After Trump had left to present an immigration speech in Arizona, Nieto indicated on social media that the only discussion of the proposal was his telling Trump that Mexico would not pay for such a wall.
Due to the fact that the press conference was televised, many critics of Trump also took to social media to offer their own opinions. Most of those individuals ridiculed the fact that his quieter demeanor was a direct contrast to his bombastic approach at many of his campaign rallies.
Among those critics was John Podesta, the campaign manager for Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Podesta first noted that Trump had previously claimed that his ability to make business deals made him qualified to be president. That was followed by the claim that Trump lacked the courage to boldly proclaim his pledge in front of a crowd that was unlike the enthusiastic crowds cheering his remarks.
Others noted that Trump has been a vocal critic of the NAFTA trade deal between the United States and Mexico. They indicated that Trump said nothing when Nieto spoke about how all of North America has been able to benefit from the NAFTA agreement. In addition, he remained silent while Nieto indicated that over 40 percent of the assembly parts used in Mexico come from America.
Nieto also mentioned that Trump was inaccurate with his claim that the United States was being overrun by illegal immigrants. Pointing out that more people are moving back to Mexico that heading to the United States, Nieto was likely referencing the fact that more deportations have taken place under the Obama administration than any other president.
Additional criticism pointed out that many of Trump’s previous bold statements had been while he was speaking extemporaneously in from of his most avid supporters. In contrast, his comments in this particular forum had been while reading off a teleprompter, presenting his remarks in a stilted fashion.
Due to this divergence, some Trump critics used one of the candidate’s own derisive descriptions of a primary opponent to describe him. During that portion of the campaign, Trump indicated that former Florida governor Jeb Bush was “low energy,” due to his lack of enthusiasm.
In addition, a Republican who has expressed her disdain from Trump while serving as a commentator for CNN also criticized him. Ana Navarro stated that he had undergone a “personality transplant.”
The irony for some of those critics about the use of the teleprompter is that many Trump supporters have ridiculed the fact that President Obama has often frequently used such equipment when giving his own speeches.
Over the past few weeks, Trump has attempted to make inroads with Latino voters after making his previous remarks, including references to Mexican immigrants as rapists. A recent poll indicates that he’s currently only receiving 21 percent of their vote.