The candidate polling second in Mexico’s presidential campaign says he wouldn’t allow U.S. President Donald Trump to treat his country like a “doormat,” in another sign that relations with the country’s northern neighbor will weigh in the election.
Speaking Sunday at a campaign event in Mexico City, Ricardo Anaya said he wouldn’t pay for the border wall Trump wants and that U.S. demand for drugs is behind the surge of violence in Mexico.
“No more will we turn ourselves into doormats before the U.S. government the way this federal government has done,” Anaya told a packed audience at the National Auditorium, where he became the official candidate of the coalition led by the National Action Party.
Anaya is trying to close the gap with leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has also been critical of Trump and is leading by about 9 percentage points, according to Bloomberg’s Poll Tracker. Jose Antonio Meade, who represents the same party as the nation’s unpopular President Enrique Pena Nieto, is in third place in the race, where corruption and drug violence are also major themes.
Lopez Obrador and Meade also became official candidates on Sunday, less than five months before the presidential vote in July.