yesterday John McCain was interviewed on the Florida affiliate of Spanish radio network Union Radio. And in the interview McCain appeared not to know who the Prime Minister of Spain was and assumed he was some anti-American leftist leader from South America.
After the interviewer presses him a couple times on the point and tries to focus him on the fact that Prime Minister Zapatero isn’t from Mexico and isn’t a drug lord either McCain comes back at her saying, “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.”
Then there’s a moment of awkward pause before she says. “But what about Europe? I’m talking about the President of Spain.”
McCain: “What about me, what?
Interviewer: “Are you willing to meet with him if you’re elected president?”
McCain: “I am wiling to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for humans rights, democracy and freedom. And I will stand up to those who do not.”
At this point, the interviewer gets tongue-tied presumably because she can’t get over McCain not knowing what Spain is.
I can only assume that John McCain, asked about Prime Minister José Luis Rodíguez Zapatero, thought the question was about Mexican Revolutionary General Emiliano Zapata, (1879-1919). Zapata was an ally of Pancho Villa, and later fell in with anarchists, and was killed in an ambush by his former allies. McCain may well remember tales of these events from his childhood.
The Zapatistas in southern Mexico (Chiapas) adopted his name and ideas.
On the other hand, McCain may have been thinking of Lyle Zapato, the author of Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie: Practical Mind Control Protection for Paranoids.
In either event, McCain has no reason to place Spain in Latin America, nor to doubt the Spanish dedication to “humans rights, democracy and freedom.” They, at least, don’t torture people in Latin American prisons. Can we say the same thing about George Bush and John McCain?