October 9th, 2007
03:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Ex-Mexico prez wants 'lady' in the White House

Watch portions of Larry King's interview with Vicente Fox Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He wouldn't say which presidential candidate he supports by name, but former Mexico President Vicente Fox made clear Monday on CNN's Larry King Live who he hopes will be the next occupant of the White House.

"A lady would be my choice," the man who served as Mexico's president from 2000-2006 said, when asked if he had a favorite in the White House race.

Asked if he was referring to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Fox repeated that he'd prefer a woman in the White House.

"There ain't no other lady running," King noted.

"I think that women show their vision, their capacities, their emotions, their passion, their compassion," Fox continued. "And to me governments and politicians need huge doses of that of religion, of spiritual values, of letting themselves be guided by God and not just polls."

Fox also said former President Bill Clinton is an "inspiration" and said Clinton, along with former President Jimmy Carter, have shown "that there is life after the presidency."

In the wide-ranging interview, Fox also commented on the controversial and at times blunt remarks about President Bush in his new book, "Revolution of Hope."

In the book, which hit stores last week, Fox calls the president "the cockiest guy I have ever met in my life," and is sharply critical of the Bush's Iraq policy and his immigration stance."

"Among friends, you have to be very frank," Fox said of his comments. "And I tried to express very candidly in this book my first impressions in meeting President Bush and other leaders and how the relationship developed."

Fox also said that he meant to praise the president when he called him cocky.

"To me, it's praise, because, you know, that's a key characteristic of a leader and a president," he said. "He must have self- confidence. But also he must be humble and listen to people and try to raise from people what will be his public policies."

But Fox wasn't entirely complimentary of his neighbor to the north, offering a sharp critique of Bush's 'cowboy' skills.

"When you have been riding horses since you were two years old, you can notice when somebody gets near in his hand, in the way he touches the horse, you immediately know that he's not a cowboy," Fox said of the president.

Fox also continued that he calls Bush a "windshield cowboy," because of "his invitation to spend two days [on the Crawford Ranch], and for the two days we would be talking in a very profound dialogue on him driving the truck and going along the ranch. He drives very well, but I don't think he rides horses very well."

The former Mexico president also touched on the hot button issue of illegal immigration, saying he was for an "orderly" and "legal" flow across the borders.

"Let's decide an immigration reform so that we can have an orderly flow of immigration so that only those that have a job here can stay cause they are hired by families, they are hired by small businesses, they hired for construction, they are hired to pick up apples in Washington, crops of vegetable in California," he said.

"I saw them building casinos in Las Vegas, Fox added."You need them here. This economy needs 400,000 new jobs a year coming from abroad because you don't have employees."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • President Bush
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Shanna, Ellicott City, Maryland

    I normally don't comment on articles, but reading some of the comments here make me sick. It's so sad how ignorant and racist some Americans can be. With the exception of Native Americans, every person in this country is either an immigrant or a decendant of immigrants. In addition, if you've ever eaten at a restaurant or needed construction or yard work done, who is doing these jobs? If we close the borders, there will be a shortage of labor and the price of commodities will rise. Then we'll be having American's complaining about the higher cost of leaving.

    And to answer the question- "Why should we care what the former President of Mexico thinks?" -Because it's called "Foreign Relations." The reason we are constantly facing terror threats is because we don't work with foreign nations. We just push our beliefs against them. Mexico is our neighboring country and we should be working with them to find a solution to the illegal immigration problem.

    October 9, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. jim, buda, tx

    Linda, form NY.
    no matter how right you are, you cant say that in this forum, you're to stupid to postulate that opinion, at leat thats what Ramon in mex city thinks of you(and me. I love how alot of you hide your racism behind multi culturalism, in your opinions we can only be diverse when we learn to speak spanish, not when they learn to speak english. man am i stupid.

    October 9, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Bill, Ann Abor, MI

    Almost ashamed to be American reading these comments.. Obviously freedom of speech is yet another thing too many in America abuse. Speaking like an ignorant fool solves nothing. Ever stop to think that perhaps these leaders 'endorse' to get you to NOT vote for them? Either way you do not have to agree with his opinion any more than you do mine. Like it or not, every one of us benefit from illegal immigrants. A fence will not stop them from coming here because they will find a way when so many companies & people will hire them for cheap labor which they're willing to do to live & support their families. They are human beings & want to better their life. Sounds like the American Dream to me.. Stopping illegal immigration will be as successful as stopping illegal drugs. It will not happen as long as there is demand, resolve & money to be made. There is no simple answer but a good start is to provide a legitimate way for them to work here AND PAY TAXES on what they make. Personally I'd love to see the IRS abolished and replaced with a national sales tax (read up @ fairtax.org for one of the best plans I've seen yet). That way all cash-based income is taxed when spent (or wired to Mexico or wherever) instead of honest tax payers shouldering the entire burden. Yes that includes money made by drug dealers, prostitutes, tips, illegal immigrants along with any other income that is not currently taxed. It's time for everyone here to share the burden. No I'm not saying illegal immigrants should come get a free ride or automatically become citizens but to become an accepted part of society they need to follow the laws and contribute to society. Btw, in my opinion Bush will go down in history as the worst president we've ever had. For the next election, don't vote based on crap info people cram down your throat, especially political ads. Do some research, consider the source and go vote. And take a friend, even if they don't share your views & vote for someone else. 😉

    October 9, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Frank J, Mexico City, Mexico

    I'm mexican, that gives me the right to say what I want about my former president. This man is nowadays seen in Mexico as one of the worst presidents in Mexico's history. He called his goverment "the goverment of change", but he proved to be nothing more than another lame politician. Right now,the mexican legislators want to prosecute this guy for illicit enrichment, and now he thinks he has the right to go to America and tell u who will be your best choice for a president?. This guy has no shame, he's goverment was pretty lame in Mexico. What's next for Fox, try to convince the americans about an immigration reform. You must be tripping on, Fox

    October 9, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. monica, el paso,tx

    I don't even know where to start with this issue. I was appalled when I started reading the comments from people regarding Fox's interview. Those of you who criticize another man's views because they are different than yours. This just solidifies the image the rest of the world has of Americans....ignorant, egotistical, and "cocky." How do we expect to have the support of other nations when some Americans aren't even respectful toward a previous world leader? We all need to realize that we are not going to be the hedgemon in the world forever, and this is going to come as a shock to many people who will not open their eyes and see what is actually going on. As someone who lives on the border, a fence is already in place and it doesn't stop people from trying to earn a couple of dollars a day. Seriously, will anyone here admit to doing hard labor job in 100 degree weather for about $20/day no matter the hours? I don't think so. We cannot criticize Fox for coming forth and saying things that should've been said a long time ago. The fact that a "lady would be [his] choice" does not imply anything. He is not trying to implement his beliefs on anyone, and of course just because he believes this, it doesnt mean you have to! And as far as a corrupt government: Americans should not even start with that because one of the main reasons why it is corrupt and still continues to be is because of Americans. Why does the drug trafficing not stop???? Perhaps because of all the parties where drugs are present. The United States is the main consumer of drugs, and until we decide to stop consuming illegal drugs we have absolutely NO right to look down upon other countries' status that we cause day in and day out. So the next time anyone is at a party where there is marijuana, cocaine, or any other illicit drug remember that you just contributed to a drug cartel, caused someone to die and/or risk their life just to bring you that quick fix! And we call ourselves the country others should emulate?????

    October 9, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Guinness, Newark, DE

    Dumb Fox, what does he know? Afterall, he's just...a former leader of a large North American country. Same goes for Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty who sang against the war and Bush – nobodies! And former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neil who said that Bush, from the very beginning, was intent on removing Saddam Hussein: TRAITOR!! LIBERAL!!And how about Greenspan: just because he presided over the longest economic expansion in American history and served under three presidents – what does he know? Tar and feather any other leader, artist, or economic wonks that have anything bad to say about our beloved W.

    October 9, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    After reading this, I am joining the bloggers that have realized before me that there is no difference in the 2 parties. Peace loving Liberals?
    Funny how Mexican immigration wasn't a problem 25 years ago. Just like Hillary supporters, jumping on any popular bandwagon.
    We Americans have so much to learn, but unfortunately, our gluttony takes precedent.

    October 9, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Harry D, FL

    This dude looks a lot like Queen Elizabeth and the Bushes. I'm starting to believe that they are all related. How do you get different world leaders that look the same?

    Why isn't Mexicos president dark skinned like the ones that cross the border?

    October 9, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Wiinetka, CA

    I could care less what Mr. Fox thinks. I think he should be more concern on what goes in Mexico.

    I do think that many Americans in this country including some politicians are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.

    We talk about building a fence to protect our borders, but somehow people are still managing to sneek in this country.

    There are about 11 million illegals in this country. If no one wants amnesty or some type of road to legalization. Can someone tell how we are going to begin to process 11 million people.

    Besides the astronomical cost in terms of manpower and resources. Then what? Are americans going to pick our fruits at the fields? Cut your grass and valet your parking. Sure, not everyone is that works in those fields, but the majority of them are. We just choose to pretend they are not illegal, when its convenient for us. The minute some politician wants to make a name for themselves, we all seem to jump on the bandwagon!!

    October 9, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Bob Johnston,17438 Marianas Way, cottonwood, ca. 96922

    Fox should stay home and try to fix the problems in his own country. Mexico is so bad that everyone wants to leave and come here.Perhaps a lady could do a better job running Mexico.

    October 9, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Ron Reale

    Honest and Logical Border Reform
    (originally posted at "realetybytes.townhall.com"
    Thursday, October 04, 2007 11:34 AM

    A possible solution to illegal worker immigration?
    If we wish to identify the "undocumented workers" here, and still need foreign workers, I have a suggestion that would work over a two year period.

    First, we build the wall on both borders. Every 45 miles, we have a workers welcome center, with a Mexican government center on one side, so the immigrants work papers are in order, and an American super computer on the other side to create a biometric (eyescan and blood sample) id for the workers. They are then welcomed to America to work.

    Now they can get insurance and drivers licenses legally, so now we know were they live. Of course, the Drivers License must differ in regard to the workers visa, so it could not be used to apply for a voters registration card, or other services denied non-citizens.

    The Mexican government, with a 5% tax on the American money crossing back into Mexico, could purchase a blanket "pool" type insurance policy to cover its citizens auto and health policies.

    Any illegal currently here with their family would have to go to the other side of the fence and come back through. If the immigrant has been here illegally and has family in America, there is a 1000 dollar fine, 200 to be paid immediately, 800 to be suspended and paid at a rate of 200 dollars a year. If the immigrant learns English and assimilates into American society, however much is owed at that point is suspended indefinitely.

    When the immigrant with a family here applies at the border, he just tells the official how many family members and their names,bringing whatever papers he may have, and is given vouchers for them. When he returns to his family, he brings each of them, with 200 dollars, to the local police, were they are fingerprinted and given ids and welcomed from the shadows.

    They have two years to do this, (and then 200 per year until the 1000 is paid), so if they have a large family, they can spread out the monetary fines. Total assimilation suspends the fines.

    Any violent crimes, including drunk driving or gang involvement would be grounds for deportation on this workers visa. This means the original charge. There will be no plea bargaining for people with these visas.
    No person that had been here illegally prior to these visas will ever be a citizen. This is part of the punishment for breaking into the country. They at least have the opportunity for their children, born here, to have a better life. That is the cost of their actions.

    Those that come here for the first time on this visa, who assimilate and work without legal problems for ten years, may apply for citizenship.

    After a two year grace period, any employer hiring an illegal, (now a person without the new id papers), will have their business confiscated and given to the local community to either close or run legally.

    This may not be perfect, but it would give them all the incentive to sign up. After the two year period ends, anyone caught here illegally would face mandatory jail until there home country takes them back. In some cases, that could mean life in prison. That incentive should keep them out.

    Then, at of the end of the two year grace period, free lawyers are given to anyone with these work visas to sue any employee paying less than the minimum wage. Repeated violations, and the business is turned over to the employees, (because the previous owners, board of directors and ceo will be in jail).
    Finally, Congress should also pass an immigration reciprocity law, ie. any citizen of another country shall have all of the rights in this country that Americans have in their (the immigrants) home country.
    Lets see the foreign governments and other hypocrites screaming for rights just for being here chew on that.

    Ron Reale

    October 9, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Adrienne, Hometown, Pa.

    Humberto says that not all illegal immigrants are criminals. Geez! Are not illegal and criminal the same thing?

    I can't imagine, that as slick as Fox is, that he would think he was helping Clinton by his remarks. Rudy's done more, as Mayor of NYC, to protect illegal immigraion than anyone else running.

    Anyway, I am offended by Fox's admission that he saw his illegal aliens building a casino in Las Vegas. and that we need them here. Actually, skilled union trades workers used to built casino's before illegal aliens took those jobs. The casinos are loaded. They can afford to pay U.S citizens prevailing wages.

    Now, the Dept of Labor estimated some years ago that there would eventually be a shortage of skilled construction workers. For those of us very few women in the skilled bulding trades that shortage meant that maybe, just maybe, we would actually get to work more and that more women would be accepted into the skilled trade unions. This would happen naturally, out of necessity. Illegal immigration destroyed any hope of that happening. It instead put the few women in the trades in competition with even more men, and those men from a third world country. I have never seen a female illegal immigrant working construction.

    When Illegal immigration created an excess of construction workers, not just opportunity but wages, benefits, and safety have all declined for trades workers who are U.S. citizens.

    Illegal immigrant construction workers are not skilled trades people. They did not serve apprenticeships to learn a given trade. They did not work their way up through the ranks in a fair manner.

    Up until Bush took office, DOL agents would visit jobsites to check that wages were being paid lawfully and safety was being practiced but I haven't seen them on the job in the last 6 years.

    October 9, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Manuela Mehare, Boston, MA

    If you don't want illegal immigrants in the United States, stop giving them jobs!

    Supply and demand... it never fails.

    Some of us keep complaining but also keep employing them.

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep them out of this country if they can still get jobs here. No fence, wall or embarassing underground civilian "army" will be able to stop them.

    Does everybody really think that if the United States didn't need the illegal immigrants they would allow them to remain here... think people, there is probably a CIA program reading this now! If they wanted to deport the illegal immigrants it would take twenty five minutes, maybe thirty.

    The United States NEEDS these people and no ammount of disrespect toward foreign Presidents or US candidates will change that fact.

    October 9, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. S, NYC

    If it wasnt for this Mr so called Mexican president, there wouldnt have been so many immigrants crossing the border. We needed someone that could give Mexico an economy with jobs and maybe Mexico wouldnt be a 3rd world country! This guy never took care of Mexico when he was president. If anything he made it worse and didnt try to help his own people!!!!!!! If he loved Mexico, dont you think he would want to keep his people in their own country instead of letting them out!!!!!

    October 9, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. behonestamerica,Laredo Tx

    Wow! just read the ignorance of the american people! those who came here illegals themselves to this country!mexicans didn't come to this land in the Mayflower or any of those ships who invaded this land! they like the native american are the real americans! why does this country teach lies in school about everything, history is distorted to reflect what is more convinient to you! why doen't american history books talk about the genocide of the mexican tribes and native americans instead they want to go and say how they fought for this land that never belonged to them in the first place, bringing their deseases and plages from Europe! that is the truth the only reason the majority criticizes the ex president and pay attention! is because he endorsed Hilary, but what if he had said Rudolph Juliani or any other candidate would your response had been the SAME? I didn't think so.

    October 9, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. john, austin, tx

    Ramon from mex city,
    I hope mexico keeps improving maybe then will 10 million people sneek back across the border, until then try denying the reality that so many of your people have to come here because of your governments short commings, or lack of opportunity it provides for its people. Yes, liberals I have been all over the world, and I still think USA is #1, I just must be ignorant.

    October 9, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Kris, Toronto, Canada

    What is it with the word "Fox" and people saying stupid stuff that nobody with half a brain would listen to?

    October 9, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Kay, Las Vegas, NV

    Humberto, Houston:
    The fact that you identify yourself as Mexican-American proves the point that most people make regarding people immigrating from Mexico, either legal or illegal, and why we appear to 'pick on' Mexicans.

    My family came to the US from Ireland in 1902. I am 100% of Irish decent, and still have an extensive family in Ireland. I have visited several times through my 45 years, and am well-connected to them. Yet I am, always have been, and forever will be, American first. My Irish decent plays no part in my allegiance; I have never identified myself as irish-American.

    When you insist on caveating your American citizenship (or residency)with a hyphenated family origin, then you make yourself fair game for the hostillity of generations of proud Americans bent on preserving the American culture so many others try so hard to be a part of, yet insist on knocking down every chance they get.

    The solution is simple. Americans (and I mean all North Americans) are a hospitable group, unlike any other. The US and Mexico governments have always had a tenuous relationship, yet citizens of both countries have generally gotten along well. The blending of our cultures goes back to long before any of us existed. But if "Mexican-Americans" want to no longer be the "perceived" target of a hostile US, then live by the rules of our government as the Mexican government would expect us to abide by its laws while in Mexico. We have infinite respect for your desire to help your family and your outstanding work ethic, but if you are not here legally, go back home until you can do it the same way every other immigrant has to do it. RESPECT our culture, and don't EXPECT us to acclimate it to Mexicans. Speak our common language of English, don't expect us to accomodate...if the language is a barrier and you want to live in the US, what do you do??? Take the time to learn it, as we would have to learn Spanish if taking up permanent residency in Mexico. And, finally, stop giving yourself the hyphenated identity. If you choose to live the rest of your life in the US, then your no more Mexican than I am Irish.

    Before your scream racism, note that you can replace 'Mexican-American' with any of the 100s of hyphenated-Americans, it applies just as well.

    October 9, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |

    Sorry...ENTERING THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY IS A FEDERAL CRIME WHICH BY DEFINITION MAKES THE PERPERTRATOR A CRIMINAL. What ever the reason the person is a criminal according to the law. If I'm hungry with no money and go into a restuarant, eat and offer to wash the dishes...I have still broke the law. Granted I may have a good reason and may be willing to make reparations...but that doen't change the fact I committed a criminal act. Maybe if ILLEGAL ALIEN SUPPORTERS would admit a criminal act has been committed...Americans would be more sympathetic to the idea of them making reparations to the citizens of this country.

    October 9, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. laurinda,ny

    Fox from Mexico is quite a character. He thinks that George Bush is cocky because he is humble and listens to people. I can certainly see why Mexico got a new president.

    October 9, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. RA Las Vegas, NV

    Most all the illegal immigrants and illegal drugs entering the US from south of our borders and is virtually killing our cities and towns and economies of the lands that Americans have worked to build over the past 200 plus years. Even though our citizens know governments on both sides of our borders have rescores to combat this infiltration.

    Our US troops in Afghanistan are combating a people over there as if our so call DoD and home land security are acting on US border control. Maybe our government leaders should present solutions liken too periquat pot and destroy all of the opium over there or is some great people still using this war as their thriving enterprise.

    October 9, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Americans should be focused on what is good for our citizens and our country as a whole. It seems irrelevant to me that the leader of Mexico would like to see Hillary Clinton in office. His agenda is not in sink with the agenda of the people who belong in this country legally, and his preference reflects this.

    October 9, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. cindy clark

    Americans should be focused on what is good for our citizens and our country as a whole. It seems irrelevant to me that the leader of Mexico would like to see Hillary Clinton in office. His agenda is not in sink with the agenda of the people who belong in this country legally, and his preference reflects this.

    October 9, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. Tom Dedham, Mass

    We care about what he thinks? He imported to this country 90% of the illegal drugs and 17% of the penal system. He is selling a book and getting great capitalistic press from us.

    I am sick of you people hammering Republicans and others that are NOT PRO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT using the tired mantra, racists and bigots.

    Many of us are totally,without QUESTION, for LEGAL IMMIGRATION and we welcome the good, hard working people from around the WORLD.

    And Bea from NJ, just because all of us don't bow down to Hillary Clinton, that doesn't make us sexist, it makes us smart.

    Lastly from HAWK:


    Posted By HAWK ,TEXAS : October 9, 2007 1:52 pm

    Then you got a mirror and saw the light.

    October 9, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. Remy, Titusville, Florida

    I am always amazed as to how many proud Americans – especially those with obviously poor command of the English language – keep ranting and railing about illegal immigrants. I take it they would be happy to pay $15.99 for a bag of oranges instead of $4.99, and they most likely would shell out a quarter each time they use a clean bathroom – sure! Let Americans do the job! What's this country got to do with immigration?
    Please remember: The founding of this nation was "illegal" under the circumstance.

    October 9, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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