In an interview with Fox News’ Eric Bolling, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Mexico “the new China” in yet another attempt to paint America’s neighbor as an economic parasite.
Bolling asked Trump to detail his plan to make Mexico pay for the wall that he wants to between the U.S.-Mexico border. Spoiler alert: Trump failed to illustrate any concrete details.
“They’re going to pay for it. They’re making a fortune. They’re building a plant in Mexico, two-and-a-half billion dollars for a plant. Think of it: A plant. Two-and-a-half billion dollars? I know about construction, how do you spend two-and-a-half billion on a massive plant? It’s going to take jobs from the United States. A plant was going to be built in Tennessee, a big plant, a big foreign auto company, its now going to Mexico. They’re not building it in Tennesse.”
In 2012, Mexicans accounted for 52 percent of America’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Research Center. But since 2007, illegal immigration rates from Mexico have declined, due to steady economic improvements in the Spanish-speaking nation. Trump is right to say Mexico’s economy has been picking up. However, he fails to mention their economy has led to a reduction in illegal immigration.
Trump was asked again to zero in on how Mexico would be forced to pay for the wall. Instead, Trump praised Mexico’s leaders and equated the country with China.
“I have great respect for Mexico — their leaders are too smart — they’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us with trade. You know, Mexico in a certain way, is the new China.”
After Trump professed he “doesn’t need money” and that he was running for president solely “for the country,” he revealed what he’d ask his fellow Republican presidential candidates at the upcoming debate.
Trump suggested that his competitor Jeb Bush should take a cue from the Energizer bunny. The answer was predictably Trump; vague, humorous, and perplexing.
“Well you need energy and I’d say: Do you have the energy to get out there and do it? You need a lot of energy to get this country straightened out. And the question is — I think he’s a nice person — does he have the energy to do it?”
Even the Fox News host was confused, “Energy? That’s your question?”
Watch 15-minutes of Trump’s interview with Fox News below.
[Image via Scott Olson / Getty Images]