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Does John McCain know that Spain is in Europe?

Frustrated Mess
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Frustrated Mess
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quote: You'll have to decide for yourself whether the painful interview below, which John McCain gave yesterday to a Spanish journalist in Florida, really does seem to indicate that he didn't know that Jose Luis Zapatero is the prime minister of Spain, and that he perhaps even thinks Spain might be in Latin America.

http://www.truthout.org/article/a-spaniard-works

Doug
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McCain had an oopsie again. Somebody forgot to give him the new script.

quote:Interviewed on CBS today, however, McCain said he does not “regret” championing the deregulation of Wall Street:

Q: In 1999, you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?

McCAIN: No. I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/09/21/mccain-deregulation/


Fidel
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Only three Democratic Party nominees for president of the U.S. have been elected since John F. Kennedy, a somewhat weak Liberal president, was assassinated in 1963. And at this stage of the race today, all two presidential candidates in the U.S. are owned by big business and billionaire interests. They need impress very few people with their knowledge of issues or of geography outside the USSA. "Starve the beast", shock doctrinaire neoconservatives are in full control. And it matters not which of the two corporate stooges wins in November, nor here in Canada in October for that matter.

Michelle
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Wow. I figured this would be a mistake Palin would make, not McCain!

Boom Boom
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quote:Originally posted by Michelle:
Wow. I figured this would be a mistake Palin would make, not McCain!

Not the first gaffe McCain has made, which is still surprising, because he has travelled quite a bit, unlike Palin. I've read that he (or his wife?) owns an expensive corporate jet that allows him to travel widely. His speeches show a distinct lack of sophisication, relying on an overuse of the expression "my friends..." - I watched him on CNN yesterday and he used that expression a half dozen times in the same speech. And, I think he just makes shit up, not expecting to be caught - although CNN occasionally exposes his slip-ups. I suspect his memory is suffering a bit - whether due to age or something else is for another debate.


ElizaQ
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quote:Originally posted by Boom Boom:

Not the first gaffe McCain has made, which is still surprising, because he has travelled quite a bit, unlike Palin. I've read that he (or his wife?) owns an expensive corporate jet that allows him to travel widely. His speeches show a distinct lack of sophisication, relying on an overuse of the expression "my friends..." - I watched him on CNN yesterday and he used that expression a half dozen times in the same speech. And, I think he just makes shit up, not expecting to be caught - although CNN occasionally exposes his slip-ups. I suspect his memory is suffering a bit - whether due to age or something else is for another debate.

McCain and Palin have been outright lying, not just the typical political manipulating the truth so often this election that people are losing count. Even when what they are saying is debunked throughly and widely publicized in the media as well as their whole lying thing talked about they keep on repeating the things over and over.
A reporter that's been traveling with the campaign was interviewed on MSBC and said that the campaign doesn't care what the media or people are saying. They don't care that people know that they are lying, they are just saying what they think will win there base and banking on polls that say that enough people won't vote for Obama just because he is black or think he's muslim and that they'll pull off squeaker because of that.


Scott Piatkowski
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A piece on Alternet (which I don't have time to find the link for right now) points out that the Republican spinners are insisting that it wasn't a mistake at all. In other words, they're willing to jeopardize their country's diplomatic relationship with Spain in order to cover up the fact that their candidate for Commander-in-Chief isn't up to the job.

ElizaQ
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quote:Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
A piece on Alternet (which I don't have time to find the link for right now) points out that the Republican spinners are insisting that it wasn't a mistake at all. In other words, they're willing to jeopardize their country's diplomatic relationship with Spain in order to cover up the fact that their candidate for Commander-in-Chief isn't up to the job.

Yep, I posted a couple of links about that on the Palin thread. Basically it caused confusion and got quite a media run in Spain as people were trying to figure it out. The general consencensous came to that he just made a really dumb mistake and Zapatero just wrote it off as that. Then the campaign spokesman came out and said that no he knew exactly what he was talking about which caused people to go "What?" I think it may have gone farther then that but it got bumped because Wall Street started to implode.

People are starting to talk more about his age and whether there really is something more going on, because he's been all over the place on many things.
On ABC yesterday, normally very pro republican and pro McCain, George Will and the panel ripped into him, called his actions last week 'unpresidential' and brought up the age issue. That they would do that is a pretty big deal. George Will actually said that he was making people fearful.


ABC Panel


Wilf Day
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The start of the question is very clearly about Spain, not mispronounced.

The questioner then says the name Jose Luis Zapatero too quickly for anglophone ears. McCain obviously doesn't know who the questioner is talking about. But how he gets from Spain to Latin America is a real puzzle. I actually do think he just assumed this was another question about Latin America, not picking up ("Oh, Spain, that's in Europe.")


M. Spector
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I agree with Wilf.

McCain was clearly having problems understanding the accent of the interviewer. When she followed up with a question that began "What about Europe" her pronunciation of "Europe" was so clipped that McCain thought (and I can't blame him) that she said "What about you?" His next remark was "What about me what?"

YouTube interview
Go to the 3:00 minute mark.


ElizaQ
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On reference from another thread that this one is an example of 'gotcha' politics..
I'm responding here as to not metatalk the other one.

The Spain issue is about more then just a 'gotcha' story. It's relevant to how the campaign is being played. The story is not the gaffe but the excuse and cover put out for a gaffe. It's relevant because of what seems to be a coverup basically set a quite different foreign policy line then what has been said before, what McCain is said before. The question has been left hanging is this what he really believes which, yes does have significant impact on relations with allies and his outlook on foreign policy.

That is an issue.

It also brings up another point which is also quite relevant to his election. This 'gaffe' could have been fluffed off as a mistake by the campaign. Big deal. It happens to the best of people. It wasn't. Instead they, on the fly changed a stated policy direction which has caused some stir with their allies. Is this indicative of things to come?
That mistakes will be coverup without much thought to how it could effect things on a bigger level?
Shoot from the hip, clean up the mess later?
That is a relevant issue to an election.


Pride for Red D...
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I think it is a question of age, and maybe of accent- but I've heard worse Spanish accents, hears was pretty good. All of his answers seemed pretty formulaic though.

M. Spector
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quote:Originally posted by ElizaQ:
The Spain issue is about more then just a 'gotcha' story. It's relevant to how the campaign is being played. The story is not the gaffe but the excuse and cover put out for a gaffe. It's relevant because of what seems to be a coverup basically set a quite different foreign policy line then what has been said before, what McCain is said before. The question has been left hanging is this what he really believes which, yes does have significant impact on relations with allies and his outlook on foreign policy.

That is an issue.

There were many issues involved in the brief interview that the left could take up:

1. McCain said Hugo Chбvez was moving towards an autocracy (which is a lie), that he would not meet with Chбvez without certain preconditions, and that the United States should not "dignify" anything Chбvez says with a response. He also suggested ending the US dependence on Venezuelan oil, but didn't say how (becoming more dependent on Canadian oil, I assume).

2. McCain said the same thing applies to Bolivia and Evo Morales. He said the US would continue to "advocate for human rights and democracy" in Latin America (which is of course code for funding subversive opposition movements), would continue to support the fascist Uribe in Colombia, and make "free trade" agreements with compliant governments in the region (assuming he can find any).

3. McCain said Raul Castro had refused "humanitarian assistance" from the USA, which showed he cared more about power than his people. This is another lie.

4. McCain repeatedly said he would meet with friendly leaders and "stand up" to everyone else.

But what gets talked about? "Ha ha! McCain doesn't even know Spain is in Europe! Gotcha!"

It's a completely apolitical response to an interview in which McCain declared his clear intention to continue the hostile policies of George W. Bush towards Latin America, and to tell lies about other countries.

I don't have the slightest idea what you mean when you say McCain was expressing "a quite different foreign policy line then what has been said before, what McCain is said before." To me it sounds exactly like the same old bumper-sticker formulas that have guided George W. Bush's foreign policy for the last 8 years.

quote:It also brings up another point which is also quite relevant to his election. This 'gaffe' could have been fluffed off as a mistake by the campaign. Big deal. It happens to the best of people. It wasn't. Instead they, on the fly changed a stated policy direction which has caused some stir with their allies. Is this indicative of things to come?

That mistakes will be coverup without much thought to how it could effect things on a bigger level?

Shoot from the hip, clean up the mess later?

That is a relevant issue to an election.

Again, I detected no change in "stated policy direction", but if there was one, I agree it should be discussed - not the gleeful "Gotcha" stuff, but real substance.

People could start by talking about how Barack Obama's foreign policy would be different. Now that's a discussion I would like to see.


ElizaQ
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I wasn't referring at all to his comments about Latin America. Spain is the question at hand.

Here's some links that I posted in another thread four days ago.
Not a Gaffe?

quote: In McCain's bizarre interview with Spain's Union Radio he refused to say whether he would meet with Spain's Prime Minister, Josй Luis Rodrнguez Zapatero. Listening to the interview repeatedly, it simply seemed that McCain had no idea who Zapatero actually was. McCain seemed to think he was a Latin American autocrat - despite the reporter repeatedly saying "I am talking about Spain." This gaffe would seem to have very significant implications. Not knowing who the leader of Spain was or thinking Spain was in Latin America would not really be shocking coming from his running mate, but McCain has run on his foreign policy expertise and such confusion completely undercuts his credibility. Furthermore this gaffe would bring up real questions about his age. Is McCain really prepared to deal with a crisis at 3AM, when he can't even remember who the leader of Spain is during a late evening interview?

But was it a gaffe? While it definitely seemed so, now Randy Sheunemann, McCain's foreign policy adviser is shockingly saying that this is not a gaffe but an intentional expression of policy toward Spain.

McCain Meant to Reject Spain

Confusion in Spain

The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on McCain

There's probably more I good dig up now as it's something that's been playing on the backburner but as I stated above it got bumped because of the economic issues.


M. Spector
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Well, the fact is that McCain didn't say anything directly about Spain. He said plenty about particular Latin American countries and about Latin America in general.

When pressed about Zapatero he said he was willing to meet with any foreign leader who shared the perspective of US imperialism, and to stand up to any foreign leader who didn't. This was the same line he had been pushing in the interview with regard to Latin America. It's also the GW Bush position.

The "news" here is that with McCain, it's George Bush's foreign policy all over again. There was no real "gaffe" here: McCain had his talking points and he stuck to them.

It's the talking points that we need to deal with.


ElizaQ
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quote:Originally posted by M. Spector:
[QB]Well, the fact is that McCain didn't say anything directly about Spain. He said plenty about particular Latin American countries and about Latin America in general.

No actually the fact is that his campaign, said that yes he was actually talking about Spain and knew exactly what he was talking about. They said, he meant what he appeared to say, which people thought had to be a gaffe. His campaign said no it wasn't a gaffe. McCain a few months back was quoted that he was willing to work at lessening the chill between Spain and Bush.

Through what appears to be a gaffe, which Zapatero was willing to see as a gaffe, which McCains people then said no it wasn't actually gaffe, he changed that position and basically slotted them in with the countries that do harm to America and said no he wasn't willing to talk with them. He basically outright called a Nato ally an enemy.

That's why some people are scratching their heads and going 'wtf?'


Doug
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The Republican fundies may be a little peeved about this when they find out:

John McCain's chief of staff outed as gay


M. Spector
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quote:Originally posted by ElizaQ:
...he changed that position and basically slotted them in with the countries that do harm to America and said no he wasn't willing to talk with them.
Listen to the interview again. He never said that.

ElizaQ
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quote:Originally posted by M. Spector:
Listen to the interview again. He never said that.

I have listened to interview as well as read the transcripts. It's not the interview that's the question. I repeat again it's what his campaign said after the interview to explain away the confusion or the 'gaffe.' It's how it was interpreted by the Spanish media with their conclusion that it must have been a gaffe because there's no way he meant what he seemed to be saying and then the campaign saying, no it wasn't. He meant every word.
It's what happened AFTER the interview which is the issue. Not the interview itself.


M. Spector
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quote:Originally posted by ElizaQ:
...he changed that position and basically slotted them in with the countries that do harm to America and said no he wasn't willing to talk with them. He basically outright called a Nato ally an enemy.
Please show me where McCain or Randy Sheunemann or anyone else from the McCain campaign said that.

I read the links you posted above and they do not contain anything that says McCain is unwilling to talk with Zapatero or remotely suggests that Spain is an enemy. The most you can say, from what I have read, is that McCain would not commit to meeting Zapatero at the White House. That's a far cry from your characterization of his position.


ElizaQ
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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.

In this exchange he was suggesting 'diplomatically' that Spain could possibly be in the 'non friend' category as well as the category of countries that would do harm to the US and thusly wouldn't commit to a meeting.
To me it's pretty clear that he mixed up Spain with some Latin american country but his campaign said no, he was talking about Spain and Zapatero. That he meant exactly what he said.

This runs counter to what he stated before about his feelings about Spain and his willingness to do something about the chilly relationship between Spain and the current admin. In this exchange he said something different and yes it has caused some diplomatic waves across the pond for two reason, one people aren't sure what his stance is now and two, they're wondering about his competence as well as his advisors. That basically they're willing to coverup a gaffe, by outright changing a stated position that has diplomatic consequences.


Sven
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Joe Biden, speaking to Katie Couric a couple of days ago: "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television and..."

In 1929, when the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt was not president (he didn't become president until 1933) and television didn't exist (other than primitively in a laboratory).

Of course, this says about as much about Biden's intelligence as the interview with McCain says about McCain's intelligence: Approximately zero.


M. Spector
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quote:Originally posted by ElizaQ:
In this exchange he was suggesting 'diplomatically' that Spain could possibly be in the 'non friend' category
Well, now you're confusing me.

The thread title suggests McCain made a huge gaffe in his interview because he seemed not to know that Spain was in Europe. Then you tell me that the problem was not with what McCain said in the interview, but with the statements by his spin-doctors afterwards. "It's what happened AFTER the interview which is the issue. Not the interview itself," you said.

So I check out the statements made by the spin-doctors and I still can't find where they or McCain said (to use your own paraphrase), "he wasn't willing to talk with them [i.e. Spain]. He basically outright called a Nato ally an enemy." When I ask you to show me where the spin-doctors said those things, you start quoting from the interview!

Let's look at the parts you bolded, and add a little context:

quote: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.
I see nothing there that says Spain in particular is a friend or an enemy.
quote: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.
Clearly no reference to Spain here, because he was talking about Latin America. Even if, as the thread title suggests, McCain thought Spain was in Latin America, this statement places Spain neither in the category of friend nor enemy.
quote: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.
I don't see any characterization of Spain here, either.

[ 23 September 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


Stargazer
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Aw great, where would we be without Sven's support for these idiots.

quote: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.

Looks like McLame will be accepting meetings only from the Repugs (and Lieberman of course).

McCain is not intelligent. He's a cranky nasty bastard whose vocabulary consists only of Faux news talking points.


500_Apples
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quote:Originally posted by Sven:
Joe Biden, speaking to Katie Couric a couple of days ago: [b]"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television and..."

In 1929, when the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt was not president (he didn't become president until 1933) and television didn't exist (other than primitively in a laboratory).

Of course, this says about as much about Biden's intelligence as the interview with McCain says about McCain's intelligence: Approximately zero.[/b]

Actually I think that reveals a lot about Biden.


ElizaQ
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quote:Originally posted by M. Spector:
I don't see any characterization of Spain here, either.

[ 23 September 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]

The campaign people said, it's right in some of the links, that that whole exchange after the question about the leader of Spain, was about Spain. Regardless of his reference to Latin America that you read, THEY said that he was answering the question about meeting with Zapatero and he meant what he said. That it was not a gaffe.
It doesn't matter how you read him as not talking about Spain.

If you can't see why his answers about an ally are problematic after all of this explanation then I and how this exchange changed his previous stated policy towards Spain (which is the main issue) and why that might be an issue for Spain then I don't think I can explain it any more then I have tried.

We'll just have to agree to disagree.


ElizaQ
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quote:Originally posted by ElizaQ:

The campaign people said, it's right in some of the links, that that whole exchange after the question about the leader of Spain, was about Spain. Regardless of his reference to Latin America that you read, THEY said that he was answering the question about meeting with Zapatero and he meant what he said. That it was not a gaffe.
It doesn't matter how you read him as not talking about Spain.

If you can't see why his answers about an ally are problematic after all of this explanation then I and how this exchange changed his previous stated policy towards Spain (which is the main issue) and why that might be an issue for Spain then I don't think I can explain it any more then I have tried.


We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Some links to spanish press..
Obama's response


M. Spector
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How can I agree to disagree with something I don't even understand?

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