Friday, September 19, 2008

Latest Gaffe: McCain Apparently Thinks Spain Shares A Border With Venezuela

This is a little scary, sort of like having the ignorance of Bush and the senility of Reagan both rolled into one overage candidate. During an interview, John McCain doesn't appear to have caught on as to who Spain's leader is, apparently confusing Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez or Bolivia's Evo Morales.

This is part of a transcript from an interview on Miami Spanish-language radio, as reported by Sam Stein of The Huffington Post:


QUESTION: Senator, finally, let's talk about Spain. If you're elected president, would you be willing to invite President Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero to the White House to meet with you?

MCCAIN: I would be willing meet, uh, with those leaders who our friends [sic] and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion, and by the way, President Calderon of Mexico is fighting a very very tough fight against the drug cartels. I'm glad we are now working in cooperation with the Mexican government on the Merida plan. I intend to move forward with relations, and invite as many of them as I can, those leaders, to the White House.

QUESTION: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government, to the president itself?

MCCAIN: I don't, you know, honestly I have to look at relations and the situations and the priorities, but I can assure you I will establish closer relations with our friends and I will stand up to those who want to do harm to the United States of America.

QUESTION: So you have to wait and see if he's willing to meet with you, or you'll be able to do it in the White House?

MCCAIN: Well again I don't, all I can tell you is that I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us, and standing up to those who are not, and that's judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America, and the entire region.

QUESTION: Okay... what about Europe I'm talking about the President of Spain?

MCCAIN: What about me what?

QUESTION: Okay... are you willing to meet with him if you are elected president?

MCCAIN: I am willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom, and I will stand up to those that do not.

McCain's campaign is trying to cover their collective ass by making out that their 72-year-old candidate meant to say this, apparently spanking Spain for doing mean things to the U.S. like pulling their military contingent out of Iraq and such. Here's the Huffington Post link that gives the McCain campaign version of things, along with the transcripts and the broadcast. (Notice that the McCain spokesman refers to Zapatero as Spain's president, rather than the prime minister.)

A big problem with that explanation is that McCain talks like he thinks Spain is part of Latin America. Or maybe not -- the radio reporter didn't get that impression. Anyway, nobody seem to know exactly what kind of fool McCain is here -- a senile Reaganesque one, a natural successor to an inflammatory fool like Bush, or some of both.

There was more foolishness in the interview. McCain's suggestion that the Calderon government in Mexico is a friend of the U.S. is a bit of a stretch. The right-leaning Mexican governments of recent years, unwilling to undertake desperately needed economic reform, have proved more than willing to export their unemployable people to the U.S., to maintain an arrogant economic oligarchy that creates that situation, and then to characterize Americans as xenophobes and bigots for questioning that condition. With friends like those, give me Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales anytime.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have a standard-bearer who can't seem to function well without a teleprompter. And he chose a shockingly unqualified small-state governor as a running mate in an obvious bid to placate the GOP fundamentalist right wing.

All this reminded me that I have a couple of good recipes for gazpacho. I hear they make it mighty tasty down in Bolivia.