Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) used his Thursday press briefing to urge Hispanic Floridians not to vote for Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who entered the GOP presidential primary field officially Wednesday night.
Foreign leaders don’t often weigh in on American electoral politics, and the U.S. State Department makes a point of not endorsing particular candidates or parties abroad, instead opting to support democratic institutions and free elections generally. AMLO broke with that norm and blasted DeSantis, considered by many to be the top GOP threat to former President Donald Trump, for his treatment of migrants.
AMLO: “I ask the Hispanics in Florida not to give one single vote [to Ron DeSantis]. Do not vote for those who persecute migrants”
* AMLO is clearly not familiar with Florida’s Hispanic vote historical trends
— José Díaz Briseño (@diazbriseno) May 25, 2023
“I ask the Hispanics in Florida not to give one single vote [to Ron DeSantis]. Do not vote for those who persecute migrants,” he said at his daily press briefing, according to Reforma correspondent José Díaz Briseño.
DeSantis caught heat from Democrats last year for transporting a small number of migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard. (RELATED: Mexican President Shows Off Cartoon Of Uncle Sam Throwing Drug Needles At Mexico)
AMLO has been a thorn in the side of President Joe Biden in recent months, particularly by refusing to acknowledge the role Mexico plays in the fentanyl overdose crisis plaguing the United States. Fentanyl precursor chemicals shipped from China are frequently synthesized into the deadly drug in Mexico before being trafficked across the southern border.
It is not clear if AMLO would instead prefer Florida Hispanics to vote for former President Donald Trump or a different Republican candidate in next year’s primary. DeSantis performed notably well with Hispanic voters in his 2022 re-election bid, including by winning the heavily-Hispanic and typically Democrat-leaning Miami-Dade county.
AMLO is not the first foreign leader to get tangled up in American electoral politics this week. Days ago, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz offered an endorsement for the re-election of Biden.