Biden has 'politically embarrassing' meeting with Mexico's Obrador
The meeting between the US and Mexican presidents highlights the stark contrast between Obrador's proactive policymaking and Biden's passive response.
On Tuesday, a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador posed as a politically embarrassing ordeal for the White House dweller.
Against the backdrop of Mexico's boycott of the Summit of the Americas, Obrador pointed out the very high gas prices in the US, offering Americans living close to US-Mexico borders to get their gasoline from Mexico. Mexico City has recently subsidized its fuel, which significantly lowered the cost of the resource.
"While we're waiting for prices or gasoline to go down in the United States," López Obrador said at one point, "we have decided that it was necessary for us to allow Americans who live close to the border ... to go and get their gasoline on the Mexican side at lower prices."
However, as Obrador was giving a relatively lengthy speech that lasted 30 minutes, Biden seemed out of practice. During the speech, Biden smirked, grimaced, fidgeted, and took notes. Twenty minutes into the speech, Obrador indicated that he was getting ready to conclude, at which Biden grinned ear-to-ear and burst into laughter.
Obrador not only spoke about gasoline prices in Mexico and the US, but he also touched on other topics such as lithium mining and migration policies. Biden, in response, said he agreed with many of Obrador's points, remarking that policy differences between the US and Mexico were often exaggerated by "overhyped headlines."
Furthermore, Biden suggested that the two cooperate on targeting drug trafficking, particularly fentanyl, in addition to dealing with reasons that lead Central and South Americans to migrate to Mexico and the US.
Obrador's White House visit comes just after he refused to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles for Biden's decision - that the White House regrets - of not inviting Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to the event.
Addressing migration policies, Obrador stressed that "It is indispensable for us to regularize and give certainty to migrants that for years have lived and worked in a very honest manner."
See more: Organized crime and corrupt officials are to blame for Mexico’s disappearances
"I know that your adversaries the conservatives are going to be screaming all over the place," López Obrador added. "Even to the heaven they're going to be yelling."
"We need to work closer together," Biden said after López Obrador concluded. "The thrust of what you're saying, I agree with."
The meeting continued behind closed doors after the 45-minute seating in front of the reporters.