AMLO Sets Public Target on Gálvez, but Gálvez Bites Back
By KELIN DILLON
Though the Va por México opposition electoral coalition’s newly created Broad Front for Mexico isn’t set to announce its presidential candidate for Mexico’s 2024 elections until September, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) took to his daily morning press conference on Monday, July 3, to accuse the opposition of having already made its candidate selection behind closed doors in favor of National Action Party (PAN) Senator Xóchitl Gálvez, claiming she was chosen for the sheer fact of being a woman from a small town – allegations Gálvez has since characterized as misogynistic.
“I have all the information that (influential Mexican lawyer and political activist) Claudio X. González carried out the consultations for Xóchitl Gálvez to represent the Broad Front for Mexico… about 15 days to a month ago, I found out,” claimed AMLO, who previously accused González of being the puppet master behind the opposition’s presidential candidate selection process, at the time, going on to say he obtained information about the supposed collusion from his “deep throats.”
“And why did they decide in favor of Mrs. Xóchitl? Because they assume that if she was born in a small town, she’s going to have the support of the Mexican people, when she’s really part of the conservatives, not the town,” continued López Obrador. “Of course she is not one of those in power, but she is part of the same group.”
Gálvez, who has been gaining momentum in public support from the Mexican people, responded to AMLO’s accusations through social media and refuted his accusations, claiming that the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) federal executive only respects women he personally appointed to their positions.
“Mr. President, you say that so-and-so or so-and-so are going to make me a candidate because you cannot conceive that a strong and capable woman can win the position by herself,” said Gálvez. “You cannot imagine that a woman obtains a candidacy on her own merits because you, Mr. President, you are sexist.”
“The only women you respect are the ones you impose, because machos like you are scared of an independent and intelligent woman,” continued the PAN senator. “In my life no one has given me anything and I only want one thing from you, that you respect me. You are going to deliver the presidential sash to me and I am going to receive it with a wide smile.”
But pushback against Gálvez hasn’t only come from members of the in-power Morena, but from members of her very own party; on Monday, July 3, former PAN senator and aspiring presidential candidate Jorge Luis Preciado accused Gálvez of being marred by the “fingerprint of leaders and businessmen” like González, and has reportedly received internal pushback from party leaders concerned that she will not maintain the PAN’s conservative policies if elected into presidential office.
Still, despite rejection from both sides of the aisle, Gálvez’s star is still on the rise as the most likely figure to assume the Broad Front for Mexico’s candidacy in the 2024 elections, a likelihood political analysts say is propelled by her charisma, decisiveness, understanding of climate issues and her background as an indigenous woman who overcame poverty to run a successful business before assuming public office.
Ironically enough, part of López Obrador’s own ascension into the presidency in 2018 was due to his public campaign of having been previously “persecuted, harassed and even outraged by the system” led by former Mexican President Vicente Fox, a lesson AMLO seemingly failed to learn from as he now applies the same public disdain – and free publicity – Fox once gave to him back to Gálvez.
“We will see if AMLO’s words against the senator yesterday, to whom he literally released his dogs between smiles and gestures, do not end up being a serious mistake for a president who, although he still maintains a little more than 50 percent approval in the polls, also has another 50 percent of Mexicans who, according to polls, reject his administration and are against his transformation,” wrote journalist and political analyst Salvador Garcia Soto in his column for daily Mexican newspaper El Universal on Tuesday, July 4.
“Those who perfectly understand López Obrador’s attack on Xóchitl Gálvez take it as a sign of two things: one, that she is the victim of a power attack by the president and two, that she is the one the president fears,” concluded Garcia Soto. “And in either case, that would be enough for them to support her.”