Foreign politicians are responding to Donald Trump’s unvarnished world views with equally undiplomatic candor.
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Three detractors — all current or former Mexican leaders —compared him to Adolf Hitler. Russian President Vladimir Putin and far right-wing politicians in Europe have praised the Republican presidential front-runner for his blunt style, forceful personality and anti-immigration views.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto delivered one of the harshest rebukes Monday, telling the Excelsior newspaper that Trump’s “strident tone” is reminiscent of dictators Benito Mussolini and Hitler, populists who rode a tide of economic discontent to power.
“There have been episodes in the history of humanity, unfortunately, where these expressions, this strident rhetoric has only really been (a) very fateful stage in the history of mankind,” he said.
Peña and other Mexican politicians are furious over Trump’s vow to build a wall to keep Mexican migrants out of the United States — and make Mexico pay for it.
“I’m not going to pay for that (expletive) wall,” former Mexican president Vicente Fox told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos last month. Fox and another former president, Felipe Calderone, also compared Trump to Hitler.
Clearly, the possibility of a Trump presidency has provoked “a feeling of desperation” in Mexico, said Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
It’s not just Mexico worried about the prospect of a Trump presidency, said Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again” represents an isolationist policy that reflects the frustration of many American voters, but it is a viewpoint that worries world leaders, Richardson told USA TODAY.
“The world laments that because, despite our faults, the world wants us to lead,” Richardson said.
Negative reactions to Trump have also come from some of the United States’ most stalwart allies, including Canada, Ireland, Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Support has come from Russian President Vladimir Putin and some far right politicians in Europe.