Mexican presidential front-runner Obrador says he’s ready to take on Donald Trump – National


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CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, April 1 (Reuters) – Mexico‘s presidential front-runner launched his marketing campaign near the U.S. border on Sunday, demanding respect for Mexicans hours after U.S. President Donald Trump once more threatened to scrap a key commerce pact and erect a wall between the international locations.

Hanging a nationalistic tone, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signaled that if he received the July 1 election, he can be much less accommodating towards Trump than the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Get together, or PRI, which has lagged in opinion polls over its failure to include violence and corruption.

“Mexico and its folks won’t be the pinata of any overseas authorities,” Lopez Obrador stated in a speech to 1000’s of people that jeered and swore on the point out of Trump. The U.S. president is sort of universally disliked in Mexico.

“It’s not with partitions or use of pressure that you simply resolve social issues.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump tweets risk to tug plug on NAFTA in push for border wall

Symbolically, the three-month marketing campaign started in Ciudad Juarez, whose namesake, Benito Juarez, was a 19th century Mexican president from indigenous roots whose exiled authorities resisted a French colonialist intervention from the unruly metropolis that borders El Paso, Texas.

Trump on Sunday morning reiterated his risk that has hung over the marketing campaign, to cancel the North American Free Commerce Settlement amongst Mexico, Canada and the USA, tying its future to its efforts to cease migrants going north.

WATCH: Trump slams Mexico and threatens NAFTA

“Mexico is doing little or no, if not NOTHING, at stopping folks from flowing into Mexico by their Southern Border,” he stated in a tweet.


Lopez Obrador criticized President Enrique Pena Nieto for export-focused financial insurance policies that he stated benefited the few, and promised a method to construct up Mexico’s inner markets.

He decried the paltry minimal wage in Mexico, which is lower than 90 pesos ($four.96) a day, and the massive wage variations between U.S. and Mexican auto business employees, difficult Trump’s narrative that Mexico has benefited most from NAFTA.

READ MORE: Russia meddling in Mexican election, prime Trump advisor says

Whereas he reaffirmed his backing for the pact, he stated talks to renegotiate the settlement ought to be suspended till after the election, and that any new deal ought to deal with wages and immigration.

“I appreciated that he stated we received’t be Trump’s servants, no person has stated it like that,” Abelardo Ochoa, 32, stated on the rally. “We work so onerous right here to earn effectively, however you cross the border and it’s one thing else.”

‘Expertise of serving’

The ruling-party candidate trailing in third place, former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, launched his personal marketing campaign on Sunday on the different finish of the nation within the southeastern city of Merida, touting his years in authorities as his power.

“I’ve the expertise of serving and getting outcomes for greater than 20 years, with out scandals. I dwell off my wage,” Meade advised a cheering crowd dressed largely in white.

WATCH: Appropriation Invoice contains $1.6 B for U.S.-Mexico border wall

Second-place Ricardo Anaya started campaigning on Friday.

Silver-haired Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico Metropolis mayor, first ran for president in 2006. He stated he would deal with Trump’s administration with respect however would demand the identical for Mexicans.

His unconventional, and at instances inconsistent, coverage stances have generally led to comparisons with the U.S. president.

READ MORE: Donald Trump tweets photographs which erringly recommend border wall being constructed

The 64-year-old candidate performed to his leftist base, attacking the present authorities and saying he would droop a $13 billion airport, an essential undertaking for Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, which he says is tainted by corruption.

He has promised to “seek the advice of the folks” on reforms and plans to show the presidential residence right into a cultural middle, promote the presidential airplane and lower his wage in half.

WATCH: White Home avoids questions on having army pay for border wall

Sandra Flores, 24, who was at Sunday’s rally together with her two kids, stated she and members of her household, together with these residing in California, supported Lopez Obrador.

“I voted for the president we’ve now and actually I’m not happy,” she stated. “(Lopez Obrador) will be capable of arise in opposition to what Trump is doing.”

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