Once Solid, the George W. Bush-Vicente Fox Partnership Faded After 9/11
The Dallas Morning News
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April 27, 2013

Vicente Fox and George W. Bush, meeting at Bush's Crawford ranch, forged a close relationship early on in their presidencies. (The Dallas Morning News)

MEXICO CITY — “The two amigos” seemed to hit if off immediately. Vicente Fox and George W. Bush were presidential friends who shared a fondness for cowboy boots and preferred weekends at the ranch over state dinners.

But just as the budding friendship took off, it seemed to fall apart in the uncertainty after the 9/11 attacks.

Years later, as Bush’s presidential library at Southern Methodist University opens, a closer look shows that beyond their affinity for boots and bluntness, the two men had a sometimes testy relationship after the terrorist attacks. Gone were ambitious plans for immigration, and thrown into question was whether the two countries could overcome historical suspicion of each other to forge a stronger relationship.

“We were close, real amigos,” Fox said of his counterpart in an interview. “But we also had profound differences that probably got the best of us.”

As President Barack Obama prepares to visit Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, on Thursday and Friday, the Bush-Fox relationship offers a lesson of how two amigos can become distant neighbors quickly.

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