(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., Tuesday, former Mexican President Vicente Fox jokingly endorsed a U.S. presidential ticket of “Palin and Hillary” and in all seriousness endorsed the “Kennedy-McCain” immigration reform bill in the U.S. Congress.
Fox took an implicit swipe at his old friend, President George W. Bush, saying that the world had been missing U.S. leadership, and finished his speech by likening his own opposition to a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border to President Reagan’s famous challenge to Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev to—as Fox put it--“tear off this wall.”
In a question and answer period at the end of his speech, Fox was asked who he favored in the U.S. presidential election.
“Palin and Hillary,” Fox said to applause from the crowd.
“No, let me tell you, sir,” he continued. “It’s great, great, what you are living on this election here in the states. It’s a great show, in a real constructive [laughter]—please, don’t take me wrong. But it is a great example to all of us in the rest of the world.
“I mean, a mature democracy, a 200-year old democracy, the oldest democracy in the world, giving off this example of openness, of debate, of participants, and it’s really, it’s really, this is going to enhance the democratic aspirations of many nations,” said Fox. “And it’s going to consolidate the democratic attitude of many nations all throughout the world. This is a good, good example of what the leader should be always showing, always teaching to the rest of the world.”
Then, without mentioning President Bush by name, Fox took a swipe at a U.S. president who attempted to work closely with his Mexican counter-part during Fox’s presidential term, even supporting the same type of U.S. immigration reforms that Fox advocated yesterday at Kansas State.
“We missed that great leadership of this nation,” Fox told the American college crowd. “We missed it. We need it back. I know this world today is very dispersed. You will not have any more one single leader in the world, no more. That is not going to happen anymore. But leaders is key to building the world we all want.”
During his speech, Fox told the American audience that “migration is an asset."
Then he specifically endorsed the “Kennedy-McCain” immigration bill, which would have provided a path to citizenship to illegal aliens residing in the United States. The bill was needed by America, Fox said, because America needs workers to do jobs that otherwise would not be done.
“There is a proposal that is a bill in the U.S. Congress that addresses the issue very intelligently, with a visionary support, and this is the Kennedy-McCain bill on immigration reform,” Fox said.
“There is millions of people that are working here undocumented, but somebody’s giving them the job, somebody’s hiring them, and somebody needs them,” Fox said. “Or else who is going to crop the apples in Washington state? Or who is going to harvest the vegetables in California? Or who is going to build your homes? Or who is going to attend the elderly, who is going to nurse them?”
At more than one point in the speech, Fox stated his opposition to the U.S. building a “wall” at the border, and at the end of his speech he likened his opposition to a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border to President Reagan’s opposition to the Berlin Wall erected by the Communist Soviet Union.
“And again I come back to this nation and recall President Reagan coming to the Berlin Wall and shouting loud and clear, Mr. Gorbachev, tear off this wall,” Fox said. “We should not be building walls between Mexico and the United States, we should be building bridges, bridges of understanding.”