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Mexican ex-president compares Trump to Hitler

Mexico's former president has unleashed a scathing attack on Donald Trump, labeling the Republican front-runner "racist." Felipe Calderon also accused the tycoon of employing the same fear mongering tactics as Hitler.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon told reporters on Saturday that Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration was fueling anti-American sentiment around the world. He also warned that Trump was attempting to stoke resentment in the same way Hitler did in Nazi Germany.

"His logic of exalting white supremacy isn't just anti-immigration," Calderon told the press at an event in Mexico City. "It is acting and speaking against immigrants who have a different skin color than him, which is frankly racist."

"[He is] exploiting feelings like Hitler did in his time," he added.

Trump has angered many in Mexico with claims that Mexicans were sending "rapists," criminals and drug runners across the US border. The presidential hopeful has also said he would force Mexico to pay for a giant wall between the two countries to keep illegal immigrants out.

Calderon, a conservative who was president of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, said Trump's discourse was not in Washington's interest, and was "turning the United States into a neighbor that we're all going to end up rejecting and hating."

Dangerous and damaging rhetoric

Calderon's criticisms echo earlier comments made by his predecessor, fellow conservative Vicente Fox. In interviews with Mexican media, Fox called Trump "crazy," a "false prophet" and an embarrassment to his party. On Friday, he also compared Trump to the Nazi leader, telling CNN: "He reminds me of Hitler."

Mexico's current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has called Trump's comments about Mexicans "prejudiced and absurd."

During a visit to Mexico City earlier this week, US Vice President Joe Biden apologized for the inflammatory rhetoric in the campaign, describing it as "dangerous, damaging and incredibly ill-advised."

"But here's what I'm here to tell you: They do not, they do not, they do not represent the view of the vast majority of the American people."

nm/rc (AP, AFP, Reuters)