President Donald Trump’s brief time in office has been marked by an ample amount of controversy and criticism, much of it carried over from his campaign and post-election period.
Throughout that time, Vicente Fox, president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, has been stalwart in his excoriations of Trump’s stated positions, particularly those regarding US relations with Mexico.
On Friday morning, Fox joined CNN and inveighed on Trump’s handling of the US economy and of the country’s international relationships.
The former Mexican president warned that attempting to undo or redo NAFTA would have outsize effects on some US corporations, as the greater integration the trade deal fostered in North America has benefited firms like General Motors and Ford.
“He has to learn,” Fox said. “Someone from the corporate world must tell him, ‘You’re wrong, Trump. You’re absolutely wrong. You don’t know about this.'” He continued:
“And let me tell you, his dealing capacities that he showed so importantly [at a Thursday press conference], he’s a cheap dealer. He’s a peddler. These three weeks, he has shown that he doesn’t have any capacity to make deals. He didn’t show it with Peña Nieto. He didn’t show it with other, like Australia and the others.”
“And more so, he’s a lousy, worse, bad businessman and manager, because he doesn’t know what planning is all about. You need to plan before you shoot, with a machine gun, executive orders without any sense, without any documentation.”
“He doesn’t know anything about team-forming. The team he attracted is only his friends, and he didn’t even spend some time on integrating that team …”
Trump’s dealings with Mexico have been particularly fraught since he took office.
Early reports that he had disparaged the US’s southern neighbour and suggested he could send troops to fight drug cartels have been downplayed, but the ongoing tension between two countries, as well as an apparent lack of communication, has left many on both sides of the border frustrated and confused.
Internally, Trump’s White House appears to be grappling with clashing egos and struggles for influence in the Oval Office.
The Thursday press conference referenced by Fox has added a new element to the dismay that has surrounded Trump’s nascent presidency.
During the 77-minute event, Trump alarmed many, and commentators afterwards described it as “wild” and as an “airing of grievances.”
Kurt Bardella, a former senior adviser and spokesman for the Republican-led House Oversight Committee, told Business Insider that the press conference made clear Trump “lives in an alternate reality.”
Fox said it made clear which reality Trump seemed to prefer.
“Yesterday, on the presser, I think he resigned or he renounced the presidency of the United States of America to go back to his old job, to be a showman,” Fox said. “That’s his aspiration.”