Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, poses for a photo earlier this year in San Cristobal, Guanajato, Mexico. (Brett Gundlock/Boreal Collective for The Washington Post)

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox said Donald Trump's behavior in Monday night's U.S. presidential debate should alarm leaders around the world because he revealed himself to be "ignorant" and "dangerous."

"My impression was the beauty and the beast," Fox said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "Hillary Clinton was gracious, she looked very presidential, and he was very clumsy and poor in his presentation. … She really looked like a statesman, and he looked very poor."

Fox, who watched the debate on Mexican television, added: "We think he’s a danger. He’s a threat to the world. … When he speaks about geoeconomic situation and the geopolitical situation and terrorism, he’s absolutely ignorant, and he’s only provoking us democratic leaders from around the world to reject everything he’s proposing. He is an imperialistic gringo."

Fox has publicly tangled with Trump over the course of the campaign, emerging as one of the Republican nominee's harshest global critics because of his denigrating comments about Mexican Americans and his vow to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Fox said he and other Latin American leaders were appalled by the debate exchange in which Clinton challenged Trump's treatment of women by citing his cutting commentary mocking Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe beauty pageant winner from Venezuela, for gaining weight.

"He was very aggressive and offensive to her, like he's been with everybody," Fox said. "I think it was great of Hillary to present that one case, but [Machado] represents many other cases of how he has spoken about women, how he has spoken about we Mexicans."

Asked whether Trump came across in the debate as bigoted and bullying, Fox replied, "I absolutely think so."