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Wednesday, June 14, 2012

López Obrador, in visit to Mexicali, promises bullet train to Mexico City

He comes under fire for his accuracy from columnists

New polls still show him well behind

Democratic Revolution Party coalition presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised Baja Californians a bullet train to Mexico City and lower electricity during his speech on Tuesday in Mexicali. Frontera reported that 6,000 attended his appearance in the state auditorium. Story, Frontera (PDF). Second story (PDF).
López Obrador said he would build bullet train system during Sunday's debate.

He also said again that he was ahead in the polls. Major published polls mostly have Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto with a relatively large, but shrinking, lead for the July 1 election. The Conestadistica poll for Radio Formula, taken after the debate and released Wednesday, had Peña Nieto at 37%, López Obrador at 21%, the National Action Party's Josefina Vázquez Mota at 20% and New Alliance's Gabriel Quadri at 3.5%. A new Mitofsky poll taken before the debate put Peña Nieto at 37.2%, López Obrador at 25.1%, Vázquez Mota at 21% and Quadri at 1.5%, with 15.2% not responding.

López Obrador's math and some of his statements came under criticism from top columnists again Wednesday. Jorge Fernández Menéndez wrote that López Obrador may not be lying when he makes outlandish statements far from the truth because he may be a charlatan who believes everything he says is true. (As part of his argument, Fernández Menéndez cited a famous quote that said it would be false to say that a world war started because "Belgium invaded Germany." Fernández Menéndez, however, wrongly said the quote was about World War II, when it was about World War I; the columnist also wrongly attributed it to a French historian, when it is attributed to French Primer Minister Georges Clemenceau.) In an article entitled "AMLHonestidad" (AMLHonesty), columnist Sergio Sarmiento said López Obrador's math on how he would pay for his proposals is a far cry from reality. Believing that a government could save 300 billion pesos ($21 billion) cutting salaries, cell phones or private flights for top officials is to close one's eyes to basic math," Sarmiento wrote. Leo Zuckermann's column was entitled "AMLO's credibility problem."
Fernández Menéndez's column (PDF). Sarmiento and Zuckermann's columns (PDF).

Also Tuesday, President Felipe Calderón, a PANista who narrowly defeated López Obrador six years ago, said he thought any of the top three candidates still could win the election. AP story (PDF).

In Puebla on Tuesday, Peña Nieto's vehicle was briefly surrounded by protesters the candidate later called "a little hostile." Story in Frontera (PDF).