John McCain Maybe Doesn’t Know Who Runs Spain These Days

Will he meet with this first-world tinpot dictator?We have listened to this recording of John McCain’s interview with Radio Caracol Miami where he appears not to know who the prime minister of Spain is, or whether or not he’d be willing to meet with him. It is just … weird.

At the end, the interviewer says, “I’m talking about the president of Spain,” and McCain gets all touchy. Perhaps, like many Vietnam vets, he suffered some hearing loss in the war, and now he’s not so great on the phone with people who speak rapid, accented English? Or (MORE LIKELY) he honestly believes that America must take a very tough stand on these Latin American dictators, including the guy who runs Spain, a democracy in Europe. Or! (LIKELIEST!) He thinks Zapatero is the Mexican guy in that Marlon Brando movie he liked so much.

El Cid — in English [Talking Points Memo]

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Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

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  1. Hunter Gathers

    Of course Walnuts has no clue who this guy is. Lieberman wasn’t there to wisper sweet nothings into his ear.

  2. InsidiousTuna

    No, he is preemptively apprehensive against Spain because it’s going to be Russia by the end of the decade and Jammakane just hates Russia. Because he thinks it’s 1978.

  3. Viva la Cynthia

    Oh, Zapatero, Zapata, Zanzibar, Zaire–who could possibly keep it all straight? Why would the President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ever need to know who runs that little old country in the European Whozits, anyway? Besides, it’s not like this Z guy has been there for FIVE AND A HALF YEARS, ALAN.

  4. Serolf Divad

    I just finished listening to this interview, and it was the most bizarre thing evah… I mean, clearly the guy is well versed in the Latin American political situation and can rattle off the names of the major political players in the region (could you imagine Sarah Palin asked the same questions? Let me answer that for you: No. No, you can’t). No doubt McCain harbors a fondness for the people and the land of his birth. But when attention turns to Spain the guy is completely off balance. He refuses to say whether or not he’d be willing to meet with the president of Spain. I mean… WTF!? I don’t know if it’s scarier to think that McCain’s refusal is based upon his ignorance of the Spanish political landscape, or if it’s based upon knowledge of it. Is he refusing to say because he’s completely lost or is it because he’s still pissed that Spain was one of the first major European “coalition of the billing” to pull its troops from Iraq.

  5. southernbitch

    at this point, i think most people in latin america would wholeheartedly say “fuck off” if someone told them to their faces that free trade has improved their lives. it’s a flat fucking lie.

  6. Texan Bulldoggette

    Hey, Walnuts is not happy with two wars on one continent. He wants to start a war on every continent, because he knows how to win wars.

    Cripes, between him & Palin, foreign policy will be like pin the tail on the donkey where the lucky winner gets bombed! USA! USA!

  7. obfuscator

    Senator Grampa McNasty’s tendency to get offended by any one who dares to question him is pretty unattractive.

  8. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    It seriously is an answer that you’d expect from Palin, not from McCain. Spanish-American relations are touchy. The president of Spain hasn’t been invited to the White House since he took office. Apparently in part because Bush got all touchy about his supporting Kerry, back in the day. Doesn’t help that Spain disagrees with our “we can’t seeeee you” policy toward Cuba and also loves selling military tchockes to Venezuela.

    That McCain didn’t do his homework, before talking to a reporter from Spain, says a lot.

  9. SlouchingTowardsWasilla

    Hey, the guy’s gonna be friends with our friends and enemies with our enemies. What more could you ask for?

  10. V572625694

    Dontcha love how the Republicans get so angry at tinpot dictator (or Hero of the People) Hugo Chavez (or “chay-vez” as Juan calls him) because they suffer from terminal nostalgia for communism: life was so much better when we had a single, scary, nation-state enemy.

    Sorry, pal. It’s over, and we sold everything we have to the last “communist” government on earth: China.

  11. mattbolt

    I hate “name that foreign leader” games between candidates, because it’s clear neither one knows dick-all about the foreign leaders who they’re not interested in bombing. I mean, Barry once namedropped the *President* of Canada, so, let’s not get into this shit.

  12. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100158]Serolf Divad[/re]: They’re giving extra troops to help out in Afghanistan, though, so you’d think that the Iraqi pullout (snerk) would sort of be water under the bridge, by now. Hell, we’re pulling out as well.

  13. Vanity Smurf

    No reporter should ever be allowed to interview McSenile without having video of the exchange from here on out. We need Youtube, not mp3 files.

    Sadly this will make no difference. The McSenile voter doesn’t know who Zapatero is either and couldn’t find Spain on a map even if it was labeled. They think all Hispanics (ie, those who speak Spanish) are uppity brown furriners.

    I am still hoping for a stroke during the debates.

  14. A Geek Tragedy

    [re=100161]Godless Liberal[/re]: Maybe I’ve missed a level of snark here, but it is a monarchy. The interviewer is wrong to say “President”

  15. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100172]Da Derga[/re]: D’oh. Righto. My non-Euro brain tends to not think about the differences between president and prime minister.

  16. columnv

    I know, like Zapatero has only been prime minister for like a few years, right. It’s really an understandable mistake. Oh, and the interviewer was clearly an immigrant, or something.

  17. jselt

    Clearly he’s still in shock from the great tragedy of his youth, when those damn Spanish terrorists blew up the Maine in 1898. NEVER FORGET!

  18. BigDupa

    I thought we could put Florida on eBay and Spain could buy it back. Better know who the PM of Spain is so we can give proper feedback…

  19. Ilikepigeons

    Wasn’t he a P.O.W. during the Spanish-American War?
    He is going to war with Zappos!
    Palin doesn’t blink when she says they speak Latin in Latin America.

  20. Vanity Smurf

    [re=100184]freakishlystrong[/re]: Somebody should slap you for that pun. I laughed, but it’s really bad.

  21. snig

    [re=100161]Godless Liberal[/re]: Or he still thinks it’s run by Moors, and he can’t remember if they’re the good Muslims or bad Muslims.

  22. grendel

    [re=100179]Vanity Smurf[/re]: It’s good to know that Portuguese and Brasilians are not “hispanic” to the Repugs.

  23. donner_froh

    McCain has a total lack of affect until he gets mad at the end. Sounds like a schizophrenic who has been partially sedated with some really heavy drug like Thorazine.

  24. medievalist

    [re=100183]A Geek Tragedy[/re]: Actually, in Spain the prime minister is referred to as the “presidente del gobierno” — the president of the government as opposed a president of state, which they don’t have, because it’s a monarchy.

    I know this because I lived in Spain. Back then I could see Spain from my house! Am I qualified to be vice-president?

  25. Johnny Zhivago

    It’s strange because I thought McCain served in the officer’s exchange program aboard the Spanish Armada during the Battle of the Gravelines?

  26. Viva la Cynthia

    [re=100152]InsidiousTuna[/re]: Good point–whoever this Z señor is, he’s head of the SOCIALIST party, and nobody wants that, right? I mean, socialism might mean the government would have some kind of responsibility when the market fails, and who wants that crap?

  27. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100211]mookworthjwilson[/re]: I may be welcoming them pretty soon. Like, right after the election, if Grampy wins. I always did like Barcelona…

  28. mattbolt

    I’d hope McCain knew some Latin American trivia, his stompin’ grounds for the past 120 years of his life have been Mexico-bordering desert lands. Barry, meanwhile, has been suckling on supple roast pig and exotic fruit on the elitist Kingdom of Hawaii, and therefore “gets” Pacific islanders and possibly Asians. Palin has lived on the desolate frozen tundra of Russian North America and therefore “gets” the dastardly Soviet menace, and Biden… Jesus is that get still around, I haven’t heard from him in like a month, anyways he can’t “get” anyone because Delaware is a horrible little nook of nothing.

  29. Viva la Cynthia

    [re=100172]Da Derga[/re]: Actually, while is the Head of Government in a parliamentary system–and thus a Prime Minister–his official title is President. Spain is weird that way.

  30. Terry


    Delaware is a land of:

    – toll booths
    – tax free shopping
    – barge and ship registration
    – insurance companies
    – chickens, lots and lots of chickens
    – DuPont, the company, I can’t see the family members hanging out in Dover much unless they like to play penny slots.

  31. randomsausage

    So I guess we know what the executive order of a McCain presidency would be: “Bring me the head of Luis Zapatero”

  32. Hunter Gathers

    [re=100224]mookworthjwilson[/re]: No, the ‘American Workers’ are the fundamentals of the ‘ecomony’. Now stop trashing the american worker you commie pinko lefty elitist atheist bastard.

  33. A Geek Tragedy

    [re=100207]medievalist[/re]: Thanks for the correction. I have no excuse for not knowing that. I live in Portugal – so close that people forget it’s a seperate country. Ergo I am a tard.

  34. WadISay

    What McCain actually said was, “Meet Zapatero my ass, I will follow him to the gates of hell! Remember the Maine!”

  35. mookworthjwilson

    [re=100232]Hunter Gathers[/re]: You’re right about everything cept the commie part…and I am only a bastard after a couple of shots…

  36. Voted for Mondale

    Zapatero – isn’t that the taco stand next to McCain House Number 6? I wouldn’t meet with that guy either…

  37. Hunter Gathers

    Walnuts needs to do something to change the subject. My suggestion:


    “Mars, bitches. During my first 100 days as POTUS, I will send V.P. Palin to Mars to meet with the Supreme Martian Overlord. She’s an expert on Martian relations, as she has watched ‘Total Recall’ like a million times. President WALNUTS has spoken!”

  38. Borat

    Walnuts war injuries render him incapable of using computers, blackberries, and understanding what foreigners are talkin’ about in their funny accents. You know, these are the things we should be sympathetic of because when a Rooskie is pointing a gun at your head, they’ll take all those things into consideration and play nice

  39. grendel

    [re=100235]A Geek Tragedy[/re]: Where in Portugal? I’m shopping for a new home if Walnuts! and Caribou Barbie manage to steal this thing…

  40. Giant Robot

    1:20 asked about Bolivia… we should pay more attention to the region and support the president in Columbia… aren’t Bolivia and Columbia like totally different countries?

  41. lawrenceofthedesert

    McCain is willing to meet with anyone who agrees with him — that’s how he embraces change.

    He is not willing, however, to answer any questions about subjects not on his index cards.

  42. dano

    Boy, Walnuts can sure think on his feet can’t he? He should always do interviews with Bush’s debate earpiece. That way his slightly better informed servants can tell him how many houses he owns and where Spain is.

  43. Giant Robot

    we should support the president of Columbia – in maintaining a steady supply of cocaine to the Department of the Interior

  44. stew

    On another note, Palin is starting to cancel her upcoming appearances. Maybe she’s heading for Spain to calm things down…

  45. A Geek Tragedy

    [re=100257]grendel[/re]: Mostly in Braga, which would be a dreadful choice to flee from conservatives to (it’s kind of like the 50s). I also have lodgings in Lisbon (cause of work stuff). Lisbon is fantastic; I should live here all the time.

  46. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100252]Doglessliberal[/re]: McGrampy “refused to commit to a meeting”? That’s the official spin? Uh, just, no. He wandered all over the globe in search of a topic he felt comfortable discussing. And since they speak Spanish in Meh-hico, that’s where he went. Gimme a break. If he didn’t want to commit to a meeting, he would have said, “I don’t have the information necessary to commit to a meeting.” Very simple. Not start spouting some drivel about South America.

  47. Johnny Zhivago

    [re=100242]loudmouthredhead[/re]: Franco: Regime Change is the Only Solution

    – Stockpiling weapons of mass destrucción
    – Hijacked Radical Roman Catholicism
    – Historical ties to the Moors and Radical Islam

  48. azw88

    Give the guy a break, he may not know who the leader of one of our allies in the war on terror, but Johnny-Mac know DADDY YANKEE!!

    [re=100263]stew[/re]: Sarah’s canceled appearances so she cn learn to dance to GASOLINA

  49. Johnny Zhivago

    [re=100263]stew[/re]: Palin is naving an affair with Carly Fiorina – both are disappearing together…

  50. Doglessliberal

    [re=100266]Cogito Ergo Bibo[/re]: sadly, this is too substantive and complex to have any effect. Voters are looking at the important stuff like who designs Palin’s glasses.

  51. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100271]Johnny Zhivago[/re]: Spain did just legalize same-sex marriage. I think I’m seeing the connection.

  52. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100272]Doglessliberal[/re]: Sigh. You’re right. I should just devote more time to learning Spanish, since I’ll be moving there on Nov. 5.

  53. Canuckledragger

    Silly old coot Juan McCain.

    Of course he knows nothing about Spain. He lives in Arizona.

    You can’t SEE Spain from ARIZONA!

    If Juan had lived in, say, Gibraltar or Portugual or someplace, he coulda SEEN Spain and then had some applicable foreign policy experience.

    And he sure doesn’t need to meet with this Zapatero guy, ‘coz he’s a shoemaker and Juan already has ALL the $500 Ferragamos that he’ll ever need. So fuck him with a shoehorn.

    The foundations of Juan’s Ferragamos are still fundamentally sound. Even if his brain isn’t.

  54. Strictly for the Tardcore

    WALNUTS! can’t be bothered to do his homework on these countries! You know, for five and a half years WALNUTS! couldn’t do homework at all.

    By that, I of course mean college.

  55. checkonechecktwo

    I’m offended that either candidate would be willing to meet with a dirty Spaniard unconditionally, and that condition being that they don’t say anything in their dirty, backward language. Why do our candidates hate English?

  56. Strictly for the Tardcore

    [re=100271]Johnny Zhivago[/re]: Zing!

    [re=100287]Miller[/re]: Johnny WALNUTS!’s rant there was very revealing… if Barry’s smart, he’ll point out that he basically said “You’re either with us, or against us.” And then repeated it when it turned out he had no idea what Spain is.

  57. Voyou Charmant

    I love that McCain can take issue with Hugo Chavez, but when it comes to the murderous Uribe administration, he feels that we should show our support; murdered labor activists be damned!

  58. Cogito Ergo Bibo

    [re=100299]mocowbell[/re]: I’d like one of those old Goya’s. I’ll put it in the guest room so that baby Jeebus can stare at them all night.

  59. OzoneTom

    Spain, home of both leggy Svetlana and Las Hijas del Tomate. I’m glad to hear that they are in our hemisphere now. They on the other hand may not welcome the news, but if they’re smart they will not sneeze at Juan McCains invitation.

  60. Fear of a Black Reagan

    According to his spokesman, he knew who it was.

    Which means that for him the social democratic leader of a NATO ally is as bad as Chavez or Hammy-dinna-jadd.

    Senile or batshit insane? This time I actually believe the McCain spin.

  61. BobLoblawLawBlog

    WALNUTS! doesn’t negotiate with pennyloafers like that “Zapato” and his fellow terrorists. That’s for womenfolk.

  62. Scarab

    McCain just sounds incredibly tired and unfocused throughout this entire interview. He obviously didn’t have much interest in the questions. It’s really looking like the campaign is wearing him down. I’m guessing that another week of his falling poll numbers and blood sugar, and we’ll see him really go off on some reporter.

  63. Gopherit v2.0

    I think McCain was confused by the Latin Heat….the Guatemalanness….of the interviewer.

    And he missed his nap.

  64. mentalward

    [re=100183]A Geek Tragedy[/re]: Not to be picky, but the PM of Spain is referred to as the President of the government (wiki says so), so most people refer to the leader of the government as the Spanish president. Regardless, Walnuts must have fallen asleep because he kept on referring to “Latin America” in his answer.

  65. Tequila Face

    Really, no harm done. It just means that Spain will side with the Uppities if and when a Civil War breaks out if McPalin win.

  66. sezme

    McCain was totally confusing Zapatero with the Zapatistas, which is of course just awful. But quite apart from his policy initiatives with regards to the foreigns, listening to his tone of voice, I was more concerned that Radio Caracol might have dialled the wrong number and accidentally reached the Simpsons’ Hans Moleman.

  67. Serolf Divad

    [re=100491]Sara K. Smith[/re]:

    Tragic, really. I’m sort of like the teary eyed clown you see in felt paintings… but without the black-light.

  68. GetItWrong

    At 4:22 he says “in the hemisphere.” He missed the name of the country, and was trying to bluff. Not the end of the world.

    But now his campaign has declared that it was intentional. Which means that they’re now writing the McCain Foreign Policy around him screwing up in an interview. The next time McCain refers to Czechoslovakia, they’re going to send out an email explaining that he supports re-unification.

  69. Giant Robot

    [re=100391]lilblackcorvette[/re]: Thanks… I always spell it Columbia in memory of of my favorite space shuttle. I’m very patriotik.

  70. StrangelyBrown

    CNN and the Post have reported that this was an intentional slight of Zapatero on McCain’s part. So McCain’s not a confused old fool — he’s just a vindictive old bastard. Much better.

  71. VP Mooseburger


    John knows all about Spain. Because like 30% of people in Arizona speak Spanish.

    All you liberals are a bunch of idiots.

    vpmooseburger dot com

  72. Beans

    The MSNBC shows missed the best part of the interview–when he’s asked about Zapatera and Walnuts starts ranting about the Mexican drug cartels.


  73. Beans

    Maybe instead of Joe Lieberman to give him the answers, he needed the Divine Mrs. P–that is, if they thought to include Spain in her flash cards.

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