During a meeting with business leaders this week Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto assured the Mexican people he doesn’t wake up thinking “how to screw Mexico.”
“My only intent is for Mexico to do well, and I’m sure that’s been the only mission of previous presidents,” Peña Nieto said in an uncharacteristically nonchalant manner. “No one wakes up — I don’t think a president wakes up — nor do I think he’s ever woken up, thinking, and sorry for saying this, about how to screw Mexico.”
Peña Nieto’s speech echoes a time when critics are increasingly scapegoating the president for all that ails Mexico, as illustrated in this popular meme were a kid falls off a bike and blames it on the government:
The president’s speech is part of an emerging pattern of going a bit off script to recognize his mistakes. Peña Nieto also recently acknowledged that he took a “very rushed” decision when inviting Donald Trump to Mexico. In an interview with Mexican daily La Razón, the president said his decision to meet with Trump would “perhaps be different today.”
Peña Nieto’s latest act of humility comes after another rough week highlighted by the disappearance of Javier Duarte, the fugitive governor of Veracruz who’s accused of embezzlement—a few years after the president celebrated him as one of the new faces of the ruling party.
It’s obvious the president is not intentionally trying to screw Mexico, but his recurring mistakes and questionable political judgement have many believing it’s a major contributing factor deepening the country’s social, political and economic troubles.
While he may not dream of screwing Mexico, Peña Nieto does seem to consistently wake up on the wrong side of the bed, as two years of security and corruption scandals suggest.