You can hear the unedited, original interview here. Or this embedded player (well, iframe) might work in some browsers, albeit not in mine: The first half is one economics. About halfway through, the interviewer asks about Venezuela and Bolivia. In response to a question about taking Latin America more seriously, McCain says: “I know the issues. I know the leaders.” Indeed, he gets them right.
About 3/4 of the way through, the interviewer asks him if he’d invite Zapatero to the White House. She says his full name — JosÃ© Luis RodrÃguez Zapatero — which might have thrown him, since he gives his generic answer about meeting with those who support democracy, and then starts talking about Mexico. It seems pretty clear to me that he didn’t catch the name and didn’t want to alienate the Florida audience by seeming to be thrown by the interviewer’s properly accented pronunciation. He then, unfortunately, gives a response about being willing to meet with friends of democracy, as if that were in doubt about Spain. The interviewer then explicitly says she’s talking about the president of Spain, and McCain repeats his answer. Since that’s a pretty dumb response when talking about an ally, I’m assuming that McCain felt he had dug himself into a hole and didn’t want to crawl out by admitting his error. The price, however, is a needless flap with an ally.
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