After his surprise meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Donald Trump joined the Mexican leader on a stage to deliver joint remarks about their conversation. For the most part, both men spoke in generalities and platitudes, being careful not to offend the other, likely making both the Mexican people and Trump’s Alt-Right fanbase upset. As far as political theater, it came off as stilted, strange and haphazard. (Trump had to rely on a translator standing next to him to understand Pena Nieto’s prepared remarks.)
After the two men delivered their little speeches — Trump even gave a five-point plan — they actually took a couple of questions from the gathered press. (Obviously not Trump’s traveling press pool, who were ditched in Arizona.) One of the questions revolved around Trump’s repeated promise to make Mexico pay for the border wall he’s proposed.
And Trump’s response:
“Who pays for the wall? We didn’t discuss payment for the wall.”
Yep, that’s it. Super tough guy Donnie — he with the big dick swinging between his knees — just demurred when asked who would pay for The Wall. Every single rally he gets the crowd to shout out ‘MEXICO’ whenever he asks them whose paying. Yet, face to face with the Mexican president and in Mexico, Trump basically said, “It’s TBD regarding payment of the wall. We’ll see down the road.”
And this is the real takeaway. Sure, you’re going to have your political press falling all over themselves to say Trump looked presidential and like a real leader (already happening), but when push came to shove, he backed down like every cliched schoolyard bully when confronted. He became the true cuckservative.
Now, mind you, this thing didn’t go swimmingly for Pena Nieto, either. I’ll guarantee you that he’ll be raked over the coals in Mexico for his gentle treatment of Trump, the most hated man in that country. EPN is already disliked by the majority of voters (23% favorability rating) but could have easily gained some brownie points by flat-out saying ‘we aren’t building your fucking wall’ or ‘y’know, our people are NOT rapists!’ But, nope, he just spoke of their “constructive” meeting.
In the end, though, this will be remembered for Trump backing down on who pays for his big beautiful wall. And he can’t spin it otherwise.