SCOTTSDALE -- The governors of Sonora and Arizona said they are not going to let the rhetoric of the presumed Republican presidential contender get in the way of their efforts to expand the cross-border economy.
In an interview Friday with Capitol Media Services, Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich said she is trying to build a "mega-region'' with Arizona designed to attract companies interested in doing business on both sides of the border. She said that means more trade, more tourism and more emphasis on convincing businesses that the border is not a barrier but instead simply separates two halves of a whole.
Yet all that comes amid statements by Donald Trump calling Mexican immigrants "rapists'' and saying he will build a wall along the border "and make Mexico pay for it.'' Pavlovich said she is not blind to all that.
"We have to overcome all the obstacles that are before us,'' Pavlovich said. "Gov. (Doug) Ducey and myself will overcome all the obstacles that we see in front of us.''
Ducey, who has agreed to back Trump as his party's nominee, said that the candidate's rhetoric is just something that has to be dealt with.
"There are certain political realities we need to be aware of,'' he said of the presidential campaign and the possibility that Trump could be the next occupant of the White House. The trick, said Ducey in his own interview with Capitol Media Services, is not letting those comments and the political race get in the way.
"If we focus on what the goal is, what are objectives are in terms of growing the economy, having safer communities, improving tourism and trade, we can work around those,'' he said.