Noting that the results of a new poll show he has an approval rating of 65%, President López Obrador claimed Monday that a scandal involving his oldest son did nothing to diminish his popularity.
Speaking at his regular news conference, López Obrador acknowledged there was a scandal because the wife of his son rented a luxurious home in Houston, although he didn’t mention that it was owned by a high-ranking executive of an oil sector firm that has lucrative contracts with the state oil company Pemex.
José Ramón López Beltrán last month denied any conflict of interest in relation to his family’s living arrangements in the United States.
López Obrador told reporters that the story, which was published in late January, became a national and international trending topic on Twitter, although he attributed that phenomenon to anti-government bots.
Government critics and the media “wanted to show that we’re the same” as past corrupt governments, “that I came here to favor families and friends and allow corruption and influence peddling and conflicts of interest,” he said.
“… So they go for it but they get it wrong … and they’re not capable of offering apologies, they’re not capable of correcting themselves, saying ‘we got it wrong,’” López Obrador said, although neither he nor his son has disputed the facts of the story.
After briefly pondering what was achieved in attempting to stain him and his government with what he described as an expensive and time-consuming political hit job, the president pivoted to a pronouncement on the latest poll conducted for the newspaper El Universal.
“Look, 65% approval after all the attacks,” he gloated. “And it’s a telephone survey. In ours, which are house by house because the majority of humble, poor people don’t have a telephone, we’re above 70%,” López Obrador said.
“I come back to the same thing. What good did it do them? All the media outlets, or almost all of them [that criticized me], social media, bots, trending topic. Nothing,” he said.
“The thing is that people are very intelligent, … people are not stupid. Stupid is he who thinks that the people are stupid, and it’s very difficult for them [government critics] to change strategy,” López Obrador said.
“I shouldn’t be giving them this advice, but they have to understand that it’s not like before. … The so-called political society, journalists, columnists, radio and television commentators, organic intellectuals, academics and scientists were the ones who decided [things], and the opinions of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal [mattered]. That’s no longer the case, now it’s the majority who decides,” he said before once again asserting that he is the second most popular world leader after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mexico News Daily