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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Vicente Fox
Aired October 8, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox. He
takes aim in his just published highly personal tell-all and targets
President Bush as the most cockiest guy he ever met, calling him "a
And that's not the half of it. Castro, Chavez
and Clinton are in the crosshairs, too. He spares no one, including
himself, revealing why his wife walked out on him and their marriage.
Meet the controversial and candid Vicente Fox next on LARRY KING LIVE.
He has written an extraordinary book. It is just published. The memoir
is titled "Revolution of Hope". There you see its cover.
the former president of Mexico. He served from 2000 to 2006. You can
only serve six years. It's a six year term, the presidency in Mexico,
and you cannot run for re-election.
Why the book now?
VICENTE FOX, FORMER PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: Larry, first of all, thank you.
FOX: It's an honor for me to be here for the second time.
KING: It's my honor.
FOX: And I'm very pleased and thank you.
I think that in Mexico, we must change some practices that were built
during the 72 years of predominance in Mexico. Former presidents would
just hide away, run away or disappear. And I think it's key in a
democracy that presidents face people, see eye to eye to citizens and
work to keep on contributing to the -- to Mexico.
KING: Is this book written for a Mexican audience?
Because it seems like it's for an American audience.
FOX: It is. It is for an American audience because I think that the
migration issue is a key issue. It has been for 100 years and it will
be the issue of this 21st century. KING: But this...
FOX: So I'm trying to have a dialogue with U.S. public opinion to convey my thinking and my beliefs on this issue.
KING: There's so much to discuss. As I said, it's an extraordinary
book. A lot of interest on the relationship between you and President
How would you describe it?
What is it today?
FOX: Well, it's friendly, as it was from the very beginning. I went to
visit him as governor of the State of Guanajuato to his government
office in Texas. And from there on, we started building a friendship,
because we have the same point of views, we have the same vision,
especially on the issue of immigration.
And I think that President Bush really knew in depth the situation of migrants and Mexico.
KING: But the book appears, at times, to be critical.
FOX: It is. And among friends, you have to be very frank. In writing a
book, you have to be very frank. 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, because to people, I think
it's very important to see what goes on beyond the -- the scene. And...
KING: OK. You describe you first met him in 1996, both newly minted governors.
KING: You wrote: "My first impression of George Bush was one of total
self-confidence. He's quite simply the cockiest guy I have ever met in
Cocky meaning that he doesn't think he's ever wrong?
FOX: Meaning sort of like walking carrying two watermelons like this. And it impressed me.
FOX: Yes, it's self-confidence. It is, in a way, also some other
qualities that I don't like to mention to you that are in the book. But
at the very end, I think it's very important that the reader gets a
clear picture of this relationship, which is a very special one.
KING: Was that a critique to call him very self-confident or was that
praise? FOX: No. To me, it's praise, because, you know, that's a key
characteristic of a leader and a president. 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.
KING: You refer to him as a windshield cowboy.
What does that mean?
FOX: In San Cristobal, in that summit where we met, rival opponent
precedents in that we decided that migration would be our first
priority, to work on that issue for a reform. And so walking, talking,
we went to see the horses back there on the barn. And when I got there,
there's a stallion that I have, which I ride, I used to ride every day.
Today I cannot because of doctor's recommendation.
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, that he's never been too
much (INAUDIBLE) of a horse.
And that's why the windshield
thing, when I came to his farm, because of his invitation to spend the
two days, and 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.
KING: (LAUGHTER). OK. You also said you didn't think he would be elected president.
FOX: When I knew him as governor in Texas, no, I never thought he
would. As a matter of fact, I never thought I was going to be
president. It just mavericks...
KING: You didn't think you would be president ether?
FOX: No. No. It's just mavericks with a strong commitment, with passion
and with self-confidence. But we would get there. And, of course, I was
surprised of his winning and I was surprised of my winning.
KING: You also appeared a little resentful of the fact that on the
subject of Iraq, you write that you felt that President Bush probably
discussed it with Tony Blair but told you.
FOX: Of course. I mean they...
KING: You were not part of the decision?
FOX: They perform as a team, Tony Blair, President Aznar from Spain and
President Bush. And all three of them tried to bring me into their
position. But after analyzing and reflecting on the issue, and after
seeing that there were no proofs of those mass destructive arms in
Iraq, plus the fact that I always have thought that the United Nations
has a role to play and multilateralism is the way to go. And so if we
created the United Nations -- the United States, Mexico and other
nations -- we must back him up and we must make sure that they do their
job and not just shortcut them and go around them.
KING: So, Mr. President, no Mexican troops went to Iraq, right?
FOX: No. No. Mexican troops are not allowed to go anywhere. According
to our constitution, we cannot even support the United Nations Corps --
KING: Mexican troops can not fight ever?
FOX: Well, they did against the United States when they invaded our territory...
KING: I know, but...
FOX: ...against the French...
KING: But, basically, you can't go to war?
FOX: Never Mexico has gone out for a war. That would be taking an issue
to them being aggressive happen. Usually Mexico, or always Mexico has
defended itself and its territory.
KING: Do you think the Iraq War is a mistake?
FOX: Yes, I do. A mistake and it is creating a bad image to this great
nation of the United States. Let me tell you that I love the United
States. I part of this great nation because my grandfather was born
here, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He took a horse, back in 1895, and ride it
all the way down to Guanajuato, looking for his American dream. No
penny in his pocket, only dreams in his head. And he was an immigrant
coming from the States into Mexico. And he found his American dream in
KING: We'll be right back with Vicente Fox.
His new memoir is "Revolution of Hope".
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I want to thank the
president for his strong leadership and his recognition that democracy
is a very important legacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": President Vicente Fox of Mexico
declaring U.S. plans to build a 700-mile fence along our border with
Mexico an embarrassment. FOX: It is a country of migrants. You can see
it there all throughout the United States. People from everywhere in
the world -- hardworking and building a great nation.
Ours is an immigration of immigrants. We're also a nation of law.
Unfortunately, the United States has not been in complete control of
its borders for decades and, therefore, illegal immigration has been on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Vicente Fox is our guest.
His new memoir is "Revolution of Hope".
You said earlier that you and the president, President Bush, agree on
this immigration issue. The president was defeated on it. He was
looking to be more hopeful about possibly extending a time period where
people could become citizens. On the other side, they want to build --
build a mountain -- well, they want to build -- you want to build hills
and mountains and craters and whatever they can to prevent the Mexicans
from going in.
Do you understand why this such a touchy issue in the United States?
FOX: Yes. Yes. I understand and I want to go back, Larry, to September
the 11th, that very sad day in this nation. That aggression of
terrorism was fatal to what we were building in relation to migration.
I just had the honor to be addressing both houses in Congress just four
days in advance of September 11. And everything seemed to be going very
fluently into an approval of that reform.
unfortunately, September 11 came and things changed and priorities
changed. But later on, when we were approaching the issue again, then
elections came. And the story I got from President Bush and from people
here in the States is that right now is not a good time. We are in
elections. So wait until after the elections.
And then manana and manana we Mexicans use, started to be used here.
So after that election, again, we came back to the subject, because
it's a 100-year-old subject, immigration. I mean, as my grandfather
came to Mexico, hundreds of thousands of Europeans came to Ellis
Island, New York, or came to Puerto Veracruz into Mexico by the
KING: They were legal, were they not?
FOX: Well, they were and they were not. I mean this country needed then
that labor, that energy. And today, those who come in, it's because
they have a job and because somebody hires them here -- either a
family, either a small business, either a big business. They do have a
job. And so I am not claiming for open borders to everybody. What I am
claiming for is a decision, an intelligent decision with a vision to
the future, because the United States needs that energy to support the
elderly, to support the pension plans, to be competitive in front of
Asia and China. And it's a must.
So and let's do it orderly. Let's plan ahead and let's administrate...
FOX: ...immigration as a -- as a win-win situation to everybody.
KING: You would be against the United States building a wall?
FOX: Absolutely. Yes. I cannot understand why this land of the free --
why the spirit of the founding fathers has changed. This nation opened
the markets in the world, led the world to globalization, came in with
the products and their exports to everyone in the world. And today, the
United States is isolating themselves from the rest of the world.
Who is going to stay inside that wall and who is going to stay outside?
KING: Do you know of CNN's Lou Dobbs?
Do, you know Lou Dobbs?
FOX: Yes. Yes, I know him. Yes.
KING: And you know he is kind of leading a fight against illegal immigration?
Do you take issue with him?
FOX: I'm (INAUDIBLE). I'd love to have a debate with him, because what
I was going to say that Andy Grove, the president of Intel, coming from
abroad and contributing to this nation's economy or my dear paisanos,
which are all over the United States, working hard, being loyal to this
nation, contributing to its productivity and contributing to the
management of its economy.
It wasn't work, Larry. It just don't work.
KING: The Mexican president, Felipe Calderon. And you are an admirer of his, right?
FOX: Of course.
KING: Yes. In his state of the union address said, "I have said that
Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican,
there is Mexico."
Do you agree with that?
Yes. Yes. But I also put my feet on the ground or my boots on the
ground. And I understand the problem. But we must deal with problems.
We must deal with challenges. And we must come with the right
solutions. And I think that immigration can become a win-win situation
to everybody. And the number one winner of administrating immigration
and doing an orderly and planned flow of immigrants is the United
States, the very first beneficiary.
KING: We are asking a
question to our audience as we go to break -- should illegal immigrants
be allowed to get driver's licenses in the United States?
That's tonight's quick vote on our Web site, CNN.com/larryking. You go
vote and we'll will ask president Fox about it when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: Viva Mexico!
UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Viva Mexico!
FOX: Viva Mexico!
UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Viva Mexico!
FOX: Viva Mexico!
UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Viva Mexico!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Vicente Fox, by the way, is the second of nine children. He's
been a rancher. He's been a boot maker. He was CEO of Coca-Cola in
Mexico. Quite a life. Quite a career. And he's the author of
"Revolution of Hope".
That question we asked going out, driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, think...
FOX: Well, I was a truck driver in Coca-Cola. I started as a truck driver...
KING: A truck driver?
FOX: ...delivering Coca Cola. Yes, and then became president 10 years after.
KING: Not bad.
FOX: But, Larry, I think it's very important to pass from a regular
situation that the market is administrating. And those who are here,
it's because they have a job and they have an income. And so what would
be better, either have uncertainty, unsecurity in not knowing who is
here or really knowing who is here, plan and order the flow of
migration, and give a driver's license, because you need a driver's
license only to those who know how to drive, and you will be much more
secure to have those guys driving with a driver's license, the
insurance and everything all together, instead of them driving without
a license and without any I.D.
KING: Because if they don't have a license, they're are going to drive a car anyway, is what you're saying?
FOX: Yes. Yes.
KING: Even though our audience, 75 percent say no, that illegal immigrants should not have that.
FOX: Well, the challenge of this book is trying to convey the message
that we must deal with immigration in a different way, because I think
that fear today is running this nation. It is very unfortunate.
KING: By the way, you can still vote.
We have an e-mail question for you, Mr. President, from Manuel in
Dallas: "I understand why people from Mexico come to the United States.
They're seeking employment. Don't the leaders of Mexico feel ashamed
that so many of their countrymen are leaving to find a better life in a
country rather than their own?"
FOX: Partially, yes. That's
partially true, this comment. It's our main obligation, our first
obligation, to build up these opportunities in Mexico for our own
people. We'd like to have Italians working for the Mexican economy and
building our nation. And our people would like to stay at home, would
like rather to have tortillas, enchiladas and frijoles than having
hamburgers and hotdogs here in this nation.
But this a fact
now -- hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens are working in Mexico or
Latin America. Not all those who come here are doing it because of
hunger and because they don't have nothing to eat. They just want to
upgrade themselves. And that's what my grandfather did.
the way, he was born the very same day that President Abraham Lincoln
was shot to death -- April the 14th of 1865. And he took these core
values of the founding fathers with him down to Mexico. And this where
I inherited it. This is my nourishment in my childhood from my
grandfather -- work hard, be good, believe in democracy, believe in
And now that we, all of the nations of the world,
have accepted open, free markets, here comes the United States and
builds up a wall and isolates from the rest of the world.
What is that for?
KING: Do you understand why so many Americans are so emotional on the topic?
Because their grandfather came to the country and they came to Ellis Island or wherever and they came legally.
So the question to them is why not come legally? FOX: That's a fine
proposal. Let's do it legally. Let's request -- and this is request to
Congress and the United States -- let's decide an immigration reform so
that we can have an orderly flow of migration, so that only those who
have a job here can stay, because they are hired by families, they are
hired by small businesses, they are hired for construction, they are
hired to pick up apples in Washington or crops -- the vegetables in
I mean I saw them working, building luxurious
hotels in Vegas, I mean, by the hundreds. I mean 90 percent of them,
you need them here. This economy needs 400,000 new jobs every year
coming from abroad because you don't have it here.
KING: So you like the proposal of those illegals, there ought to be a system to make them legal?
FOX: ...as long as they have a job here. If not, they should be sent
back. And those who would have a job in the future, let him come to
work temporarily. And nobody has to be having problems with that. They
will come documented. They come with their family. They work here. They
contribute with loyalty to this economy, and they go back home. That
would be the best. Let's use the intelligence and let's use a positive
approach to this issue.
KING: Have you have spoken to President Bush recently at all?
FOX: Not recently. My last conversation with him was the very last day
I watched in government in Mexico. He gave me a phone call. And I still
think of him as a very good friend. And he tried hard to get this out
of Congress. But, again, elections or any other explanation refrained
this nation from taking sound decisions, because how is going this
nation to compete with Asia?
How -- I mean Barack Obama says
he is against globalization and he is against immigration. And he
speaks about this example of Maytag Company. The thing that Barack
Obama doesn't know is that Maytag Company would have closed its door
anyway, because it couldn't compete. So they opened their factory in
Guanajuato, in my state, and they compete again. They are back to life.
They're creating jobs in Mexico and they are creating jobs here in the
KING: More with Vicente Fox when we come back.
We'll include your phone calls, too; more e-mails, as well.
His new book is "Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith and Dreams of a Mexican President."
Don't go away.
Jimmy Carter tomorrow night.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Vicente Fox, and we will move to other things in
the book but we're going to stay on this immigration thing, obviously,
the hottest topic. We have an e-mail question from Patricia, Oxnard,
California: "Why should the American public have to pay for medical
care of illegal immigrants from Mexico? Why shouldn't we be able to
bill the government of Mexico for care given to their citizens?"
FOX: Patricia, let me tell you that you're not paying for medical care
for undocumented workers. I have the case of Adrian (ph), 8-year-old
kid in San Antonio, Texas, presented to me by the students of Trinity
University. And he was not going to be attended.
He needed a
heart transplant and he needed to raise half a million dollars and
nobody would be helping. So we came in, Marta and myself, we called
press and we called people and that night we raised $250,000.
And the kid, we got a humanitarian visa from the U.S. government to be
able to stay here to take him to Little Rock, to the children's
hospital. And my eternal thanks to the personnel of the Children's
Hospital in Little Rock, in Arkansas, because they did a great job. And
Adrian's life was saved.
He visited Marta and myself in
Rancho San Cristobal a week ago. So I mean, that's the kind of thing we
should be looking at. Again, I say, let's not build walls. Let's build
bridges. Let's build bridges that will work for building prosperity
among ourselves and our nations.
KING: Earlier today in an
interview, your successor, President Calderon said that
anti-immigration sentiment in the United States is fuelling
anti-American feelings in Mexico. Do you see -- if you agree, what is
the implication of this?
FOX: Well, what I see is fear
dominating people here -- or some people here because it's still, I
would say that a majority of your citizens would go along with a
reform, done with a proper intelligence and solve this problem once and
for all and convert it into win-win situation.
And so to me,
migration is an asset to the United States. The United States is losing
jobs to China, to Asia, to Europe. The automobile industry in the
United States is going broke and losing market share every day. And
when we get together, Mexico's capacities, Canadian capacities, United
States' capacities, and we build up NAFTA cooperations, then they
become competitive and they can be in world markets.
KING: Are you interested in the United States' presidential race?
FOX: Of course. Like everybody else in the world, we would like to see back this leadership of the United States.
KING: Do you have any favorite?
FOX: Difficult to say because when you listen to candidates,
everywhere, they talk too much. They concrete things very little. And
-- but a lady would be my choice.
FOX: A lady would be my choice.
KING: There ain't no other lady running.
FOX: Because I think that women show their vision, their capacities,
their emotions, their passion, their compassion. 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.
KING: So you're saying more women should be elected?
FOX: Yes, yes.
KING: So it would be Hillary Clinton, you would not mind if she...
FOX: No, of course not.
KING: OK. Obviously. What do you think of her husband?
FOX: Great man. And this is the inspiration. Carter, that is going to
be here with you tomorrow -- President Carter, President Clinton, that
there is life after the presidency. I have learned from them. And...
KING: You're in the same boat as them.
FOX: ... Mexican presidents would do, build up libraries, invest your
time and your effort and keep helping humanity, and keep developing
human capital. And look at President Carter. He is going to end up
eradicating trachoma, whereby, because of bad water people lose their
sight. They cannot see anymore.
And I would like to help
President Carter. I would like to help President Clinton. And we are
associating our different libraries, the one I'm constructing in
Mexico, the Fox Center, and associate with them. And we are associated
with the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California, the largest
think tank in the world. They are going to open an office in San
Cristobal, in the farm by the side of the center so that we will work
on developing knowledge and research together.
leaders you have met, Chavez. FOX: Chavez. In that book, I'm aggressive
with Chavez. I'm aggressive with Lopez Obrador in Mexico. I'm
aggressive with Bolivia's Evo Morales. I'm aggressive with Correa in
Ecuador because they are lying to people. They are demagoguers, they
are populists. And they are just spending the little money that we have
in the budgets.
KING: Have you met them?
FOX: Yes, of course. I spent a lot of time with Chavez until the most
recent meetings where we -- everybody would just stand up and go away
because he would take the microphone and he was allowed to speak for
three minutes and there were 30 minutes and he still kept talking and
three hours and he kept talking. I mean...
KING: What about Castro?
FOX: Castro, I have respect. Public education in Cuba is good, the best
in Latin America. Health system is good in Cuba. And sports, they are
very competitive. But in human rights, in democracy, and in freedom,
they are totally, totally in the past. So I denounce that from Castro,
and I hope Cuba will move after Castro era into a democratic nation.
You know, this dream of Chavez to become the Castro of the 21st
Century, to the cost of the poor in Venezuela, to the cost of
Venezuelan citizens. I mean, spending the money of the oil which
belongs to Venezuelans and he's putting that money in other companies
and in other nations. I mean, it's not fair.
Fox is our guest. The former president of Mexico. The book is
"Revolution of Hope." We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOX: Of course, I would like to be remembered as a working president.
That I have invested every second and every minute of my six years of
government working for Mexico, working for citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back. The book is "Revolution of Hope." The guest is
Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico. We have a caller.
Monrovia, California, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. This is for President Fox.
CALLER: When you took over the presidency of Mexico -- this is two
questions in one. When you took over the presidency of Mexico, the
country was in a big economic crisis, right? So why then before you
occupied the presidential residence, you remodeled it with expensive
European furniture, not to forget the $600 towels? FOX: Four hundred...
KING: Six hundred -- $400? Was there a problem with the ranch and the...
FOX: Yes, yes. That's the claim of opposition in Mexico. Number one, I
was the first person ever, and the first public servant that made
public its financial statement, my personal financial statement since I
have been in politics. Every year I make it public. I'm not obliged to
do so. And they are on the net, www.centrofox.org.mx. There you can see
what I have, what I owe. There you can see my income every year and my
expenses every year.
Yes, I have assets. I have what I
consider a very nice home. But I worked for it, 15 years in Coca-Cola.
Work for it farming on the farm. Of course, I inherited this historical
patrimony from my grandfather. He bought that farm back in 1910,
100,000 silver dollars he paid for -- silver pesos, he paid for it. In
the middle of the revolution, a guy that would not speak Spanish but
had built that money in 10 years working as a night watchman...
KING: Then where do these claims come from?
FOX: Opposition. You know, I'm running again. I decided that I cannot
stay at home. Marta and I decided that we have to keep pursuing our
dreams and working for people. So I'm president of International Center
Ideology Parties of the World (ph). In Rome two weeks ago I was
appointed president. I'm writing this book which stands for the values
I believe in and I defend.
KING: What does this organization do?
FOX: That's the organization that conducts and gathers all political
parties of center ideology of the world, 88 different...
FOX: Center. Eighty-eight different political parties. And the thing is
that the PRI has not -- some PRIstas in Mexico have not yet digested
that they lost power back in year 2000. And the PRD, the left party in
Mexico, has not digested, these former PRIstas, that they did not win
the presidency last year. That it was won by Calderon.
KING: Can you go back and run again?
FOX: No, no re-election in Mexico. Six-year term and that's it. And I would not go back.
KING: More to come. But first let's check in with Soledad O'Brien.
She's sitting in for Anderson Cooper. She will host "AC 360" at the top
of the hour.
What's up, Soledad? SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN
ANCHOR: Hey, Larry, good evening to you. It's new numbers to tell you
about in the race for the White House tonight. Hillary Clinton pulling
ahead of her fellow Democrats. Is she unbeatable now, or is she peaking
too soon? We will take a look at that.
Also ahead, record
heat, dangerous conditions. A marathon mess in Chicago. Runners rushed
to the hospital. We will tell you the story behind the meltdown there.
And is your home on shaky ground? We will look at what's triggering landslides across the country.
That's all coming up next on "360." Larry, back to you.
KING: Thanks, Soledad. That's at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Back with more of former President Fox right after this.
KING: This is a very honest book. And Vicente Fox writes of his first
wife, Lilian, leaving him for another man. What was that like?
FOX: Difficult, very difficult, not only for me but for the family and
for the kids. But fortunately, I got a couple of good advices. One
seeing the picture, "Kramer Against (sic) Kramer" -- or "Kramer Against
FOX: That was a
big lesson for me. Helped me coming along and helped my kids. I think
that picture was very, very important to our lives. And at the same
time economic problems in the business in farming and at the same time
the challenge of getting the PRI out of Los Pinos, which was very
complicated. A lot of pressure and resistance, menaced us every day.
But thanks to God and in keeping myself as strong -- spiritually
strong, corporeal and...
KING: Was it a shock?
FOX: Not a shock, because it was a big problem. It was very sad. But I just came over it and...
KING: And you're happily married now, are you not?
FOX: You know, my family, right in San Cristobal -- and San Cristobal
is my Tara of "Gone with the Wind." It's a place to go back. It's the
place where you get strength, where you get strong. It's a place where
mother -- my mom, Mercedes, would receive us, would give us all of the
power that we needed to come out. And the unity of the family. That's
key. That's one of the core values of Mexican culture.
Your wife is here with you tonight. FOX: Yes, Marta is right here. And
she was my partner -- professional partner in politics for years. Smart
lady. And later on, she was divorced. I was divorced. And finally we
married in the year 2001.
KING: We have a Latino candidate in America, the governor of New Mexico. I imagine you know Bill Richardson well.
FOX: Yes, Bill.
KING: What do you think of him?
FOX: Excellent man. I mean, he's so Mexican in his interior, I like him a lot. And he's a good governor. Good man.
KING: An e-mail from Saul in Houston -- "Why was the crime rate so high
in Mexico City and other big Mexican cities like Tijuana and Nuevo
Laredo during your term?"
FOX: Long story. And that's one of
the challenges that I tried to meet with all the power of the state,
with all the budget, reorganizing and pooling all the talent. But it's
where I'm more unsatisfied.
Organized crime in Mexico is a
tough, tough deal to -- to confront and very difficult to gain, because
it's an international problem. It's this huge market we have of drugs
here in the United States, it's those producing countries from the
south, and Mexico in between. So it's a joint responsibility. We must
work together, put all the strengths, like Calderon is putting, and
work together with U.S. authorities.
economic support that United States is going to put in Mexico to fight
crime, it's one step forward. And I'm sure that sooner or later, crime
will be defeated in Mexico.
KING: We have a caller from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Good evening, Larry.
CALLER: Buenos noches, Presidente Fox.
FOX: Buenos noches.
CALLER: (SPEAKING SPANISH). I am from Chihuahua. (SPEAKING SPANISH).
And my question is, what is happening where the U.S. is looking at so
many immigrants that are coming to try to do what they can for this
country, trying to have a better life? And our faces are gone. Our
people are gone. The humanity is gone. We are not cockroaches scurrying
in the night trying to see what we can get. We bring what we can to
this country and we give what we can to this country. I have never
taken from the U.S...
KING: What is your question? CALLER:
... that I did not give. So why is it all about the dollar bill? Where
is the humanity of it all? If we are trying to have a better life and
we are giving of ourselves, why is it all about the dollar bill?
KING: All right. Mr. President? Thank you.
FOX: Well, it's clear. My proposal is that we should work on making
rules, legal reform, so that this issue can be managed orderly. Because
it cannot be just open borders. That I understand. It cannot just be
that. But it can be an association of working capital and working
people to make sure that we are competitive, and that both of our
economies benefit from this.
KING: We will be back with our
remaining moments with Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico. His
book is "Revolution of Hope." Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: July 2nd, 2000, the day Vicente Fox
was elected president of Mexico, ending 71 years of rule by the
Revolutionary Institutional Party. The perfect dictatorship, as it was
once described, was gone. And Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive turned
politician, suddenly saw himself at the helm of Latin America's second
largest economy, a country of 100 million people who were not sure how
to live in a democracy, but who celebrated the man who would help them
usher it in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Back with an e-mail from Christopher. "Why does President
Calderon appear to be taking a harsher stand towards drug interdiction
in Mexico than your administration?"
Do you agree with that?
FOX: Well, he's putting a very strong drive on fighting crime, no
doubt. And I really applaud him for that. He's doing a great job there.
I did my own planning and my own things, and I think building a nation is a process. Dealing (ph) crime, it's a process.
KING: Drugs a big problem? Drugs a big problem?
FOX: It is a very big problem.
KING: Because President Bush has pledged a robust package of anti-drug aid for Mexico?
FOX: Yes, $1 billion, for two years. And let me tell you, it's a big
problem now in a different way, because now our youth is consuming
drugs. The drugs that are not crossing, because we're successful in
retaining them and combating the traffic, now they are being sold in
Mexico, and our youth is being contaminated with this evil of drugs. So
Mexico today not only has the problem of traffic, has the problem of
production, but has the problem of consumption.
KING: It's a worldwide problem.
FOX: So we have to work together.
KING: Do you fear that a part of the illegal immigration problem is terrorism?
FOX: No, not at all. It's totally different business. Absolutely different.
KING: You don't equate the two?
FOX: No, absolutely not.
KING: E-mail from Mrs. Gonzalez in Elizabeth, New Jersey. "Mr. Fox, I
would like to know how you feel about the possibility of having a Latin
America united with one currency?"
FOX: Long term, very long
term. What we propose together, President Bush and myself, it's ALCA,
which is a trade union for all of the Americas. And everything was
running fluently until Hugo Chavez came. He decided to isolate himself.
He decided to combat the idea and destroy the idea...
KING: It's going to be like the euro dollar, you mean?
FOX: Well, that would be long, long term. I think the processes to go,
first step into is trading agreement. And then further on, a new
vision, like we are trying to do with NAFTA.
KING: How is NAFTA doing?
FOX: Excellent. Mexico's seventh largest trading economy in the world.
Mexico trades more products and services than all of Latin America
together, including Brazil, Argentina and all of them. And Mexico buys
-- and this people don't know -- Mexico buys from the United States
more products and services than what Italy, France, Germany and Britain
do together. So we account for hundreds of thousands of jobs in this
economy in the U.S.
KING: An honor seeing you again. We'll make the next visit not so long.
FOX: Thank you very much. And you're invited to the inauguration of Centro Fox in Rancho San Cristobal.
KING: I will be honored to be there.
FOX: And all of you, of course, too.
KING: Vicente Fox. The book, "Revolution of Hope." Head to our Web
site, cnn.com/larryking. Email an upcoming guest or question for the
guest. Participate in immigration quick vote. There's still time to
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Tomorrow night, Jimmy Carter. And later this week, Howard K. Stern, Stephen Colbert, and Eric Clapton.
And now, Soledad O'Brien, in for Anderson Cooper -- Soledad.
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