republican presidential candidate donald trump‘s surprising visit to mexico last week provoked a strong negative reaction from the mexican public. trump’s insults against mexicans, and his campaign promises to deport undocumented mexicans in the u.s. and construct a wall between the u.s. and mexico paid for by mexico made him an unusual choice for an invitation to los pinos, the mexican presidential palace. indeed three new york city media outlets saw the meeting as an indication of mexican president enrique peña nieto‘s ineptitude (incompetence, lack of ability) as a politician.
ioan grillo‘s opinion at the new york times included this translation of peña nieto’s defense of the meeting, published in el universal
i was very clear — in public and private — in emphasizing that in mexico we feel wounded and hurt by his announcements about mexicans. i expressed that mexicans deserve respect.
wounded is similar to injured. deserve means merit or should get. almost nobody saw it the same way as peña nieto.
most politicians and pundits — and the public — read the scene differently. to them, mr. peña nieto looked weak and submissive in front of a bully who is humiliating their nation. certainly he lost the opportunity, in his own palace, and as a president to a mere candidate, to state clearly that his country would never pay for a border wall in the united states.
pundits are experts or authorities, in this case about politics. mere is used to stress that trump is only a candidate while peña nieto is the president of a nation.
i blew it again. (ap)
the debacle seems so predictable that it’s hard not to imagine that mr. peña nieto’s advisers deliberately led him to error, in a “house of cards”-style plot.
reflect[s] how ill-suited he is to govern a major country like mexico.
debacle is a disaster, a major failure. plot can be understood as a story or a conspiracy. ill-suited means unsuitable, unprepared.
renowned (famous) mexican director alejandro gonzalez took it a step further than grillo in his opinion published in el país. it was translated to english like this…
[peña nieto] is not worthy of representing any country.
worthy means deserving.
estás en tu casa. (yuri cortez/afp/getty images)
trump gave a speech in los pinos that reiterated his plans to build a wall between the two countries. when he finished, he told the media that there was no discussion with peña nieto about how the wall would be paid for. after trump had left the country, peña nieto boldly tweeted that mexico would not pay for the wall.
secuirty advisor rudolph ‘el rudo’ giuliani walking the streets of mexico city with mucho security in 2003. (ap)
former new york city mayor/high-priced mexico city security consultant and current donald trump insider rudolph “el rudo” guiliani verified that peña nieto did in fact make an effort to talk about who would pay for the wall, though not at the beginning of the meeting. marisa schultz at the new york post reported that giuliani told cnn‘s state of the union that he snuffed out (stopped, killed) the mexican president’s attempt right away because the trump team wanted to find common ground (points of agreement). giuliani said
we had ground rules for this meeting and one of the ground rules was we are not going to discuss paying for the wall because that’s not something we are going to agree about. what we wanted to do is find areas of common agreement. and maybe the president’s staff didn’t brief him about it, maybe the president forgot it, but he brought it up. it wasn’t at the very beginning, it was sort of in the middle of a sentence and i just briefly said: ‘that’s not on the table.’
ground rules are guidelines for a specific situation. there is not really much difference between rules and ground rules. brief means inform. brought it up means intiated the conversation, mentioned it. briefly is in short, quickly.
when he’s getting the best of u and u know it. (afp/getty)
was widely seen as having let mr. trump get the best of the encounter
was widely seen is passive voice. was is an auxiliary, seen is the irregular past participle of see. get the best of means win, exploit or take advantage of. u could also say that mr. trump got the best of president peña nieto. part of the expression is used in the title of this beloved foo fighters song.
in the wsj article, macario schettino, a professor of politics at mexico’s tec de monterrey university commented on the probablity that something good would happen during trump’s visit.
this was always a long-shot bet. we all knew ahead of time what trump is like, and how this would turn out.
long-shot bet gives the idea that the odds (probability) of a positive result were not good. turn out means result, finish.
this will probably never happen again.
schettino also observes
on the street some could view this as treason. having made the mistake of inviting him, the only way to rescue it was to show backbone. but he didn’t. he was weak.
treason happens when someone betrays their country. backbone is another way to say spine. in this context it means determination or courage. other body parts that represent strength of will are balls (testicles) and guts (stomach and other internal organs)
the human backbone: a symbol of determination & strength of character. (wikimedia commons)
then, not surpisingly, a few hours after the los pinos meeting, trump gave an aggressive speech against immigrants in phoenix, arizona that made it look like peña nieto didn’t know what was going on. luhnow describes
once back on american soil, [trump] doubled down on his anti-immigration rhetoric in a speech in phoenix.
i.e. when (once) he returned to the u.s. (american soil) he intensified (doubled down) his language (rhetoric) about undocumented immigrants.
soil. probably american soil. (turfmagazine.com)
are u offended by donald trump’s rhetoric about immigrants in the united states? is enrique peña nieto an inept leader? why do u think he invited trump to los pinos? share your opinions under leave a reply