By Nick Gass
May 20, 2016
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox escalated his rhetoric against Donald Trump on Friday, blasting the presumptive Republican nominee for his rush to call the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 an act of terrorism and accusing him of "creating a phantom" enemy in order to boast about protecting the United States from it.
"[The] first message should be of solidarity to the people to the families of the people that was in that plane. That's where you start, always," Fox told CNN's "New Day." "You don't go to war with everybody. You don't go and hate everybody. You don't see everybody as an enemy. We're not enemies of this nation. The whole world is working together to build our common home for all of us. This is what compassion and leaders work about."
While conceding that he understands there is a "real fear" in the U.S. after 9/11, Fox said, "Not everyone is an enemy" of the country to Mexico's north.
"So what he is, is creating a phantom, and now he says, 'I'm going to protect you from that phantom,'" Fox said. "There is problems in the world. There is violence in some parts of the world. There is limited in a small violence in Mexico."
"And this guy seems to be looking for enemies under the stone everywhere looking for and building this phantom and telling U.S. citizens, 'Watch out, I need to build walls. I need to protect you.' Who he is to protect this great nation?" Fox said. "I'm part of this nation. Half of this person ... has American blood." (Fox's paternal grandfather was born to German Catholic immigrants in Cincinnati.)
As he has done in the past, Fox reiterated his displeasure with Trump's continued call to build a wall on the U.S.' border with Mexico at the Mexican government's expense. Fox in February said, "I'm not going to pay for that f---ing wall," though he later walked back his strong language.
CNN's Chris Cuomo noted that Trump took Fox's walk-back as a sign that he was turning around and asked the former Mexican president whether that interpretation was correct.
"It was the reaction to being offended. Being offended should take you to forgiveness. And asking for forgiveness. But in that case, I went to say my truth," Fox said. "Now, he invited me for lunch. He says, he sent me a message. Come, I invite you for lunch in New York. Yes, I would come, if first you apologize to Mexico, to Mexicans, to Mexican people. And No. 2, you apologize to U.S. workers, because you're not telling them the truth."
Cuomo said that it sounded as though he did not want to accept Trump's invitation.
"No, well I could have it at San Cristóbal in my place," Fox said. "Yes. Because he controls media here. You know Fox News is 24 hours giving him the push. In Mexico, we used to say that Televisa, the No. 1 station, makes presidents. In this case, Fox News is trying to make a president. That's not the way to go."
Fox said that in a democracy, there should be "very happy campaigns. There should be music. There should be reasonable messages."
"Democracy is a feast, and here, it seems to be war. A call for war. Democracy is not that. Freedom is not that. The leadership of this nation is at risk in front of the whole world. I work with all the former presidents, former prime ministers, and we're all astonished," Fox said. "We say it is a nightmare. This cannot be the voice of that great nation. The nation that has led the world. The nation that works intensely for peace, and now he is blaming the government, past government, the former government that they did not work for peace enough. Yeah, we have problems. We have ISIS, and this, but we must unite together to get rid of them. This is not the way to go."
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