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Matthew Yglesias » Sheunemann: McCain Just Doesn't Want to Meet With Spain's PM

Wow. I really thought that John McCain's Spain gaffe was just that, a gaffe, wherein he somehow got confused about what was happening and didn't understand that the question about holding a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister José Zapatero was a question about Spain and Europe rather than rogue leaders from Latin America. Certainly that strikes me as the fairest reading of the audio. Here's the relevant portion, in English:

But now along comes Randy Scheueneman with an official campaign statement saying that it wasn't a gaffe, that McCain was articulating an actual "no meetings with Spain" policy:

The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain's willingness to meet Zapatero (and id'd him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred). Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview.

That's an insane policy. Recall that under the North Atlantic Treaty, the United States is actually obligated to go to war on behalf of Spanish territorial integrity and vice versa.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 01:36:38 PM EST
is this a petty-minded payback for zappo pulling the troops from the grand co-optioncoalition?

smells like it

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 01:49:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scheunemann is a neocon and all the neocons hate Spain. Plenty of neocons in the McCain camp. Still, everything indicates that McCain himself is forgetful at best, if not outright ignorant. I kind of feel for the old guy as I dread that kind of situation where you are completely out of the loop on a conversation and start spouting nonsense as a defence. Still... a person should learn to ask.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 02:21:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why the hate-on for spain, is it just the iraq thing, or does it go deeper? is it just the neocons, and they liked spain under aznar, no?
old europe?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:26:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the Iraq thing and the cozy relationship between the neocons and Aznar, who has been trolling since he left in 2004.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:28:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I have said elsewhere, the fact that the Bush administration is shunning ZP since the May 2004 pullout is a big deal in Spain, hence the journalist kept pressing McCain for a straight answer to whether he would meet with ZP.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
who in spain cares? the people, or some of spain's pars-that-be?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 06:57:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the fact is that Spain is a NATO and OECD member and its GDP would qualify it for G8 membership (ahead of Canada and Russia) so not being able to have official contacts above Secretary of State level (and when Condi comes to Spain she's quite aggressive) is a difficulty in conducting policy.

The Right Wing opposition and media use Bush's snubs as an argument that Spain's standing in the world is diminished because of ZP.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 07:24:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks, migeru, for a concise, informative summation.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 03:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Matt's first reaction was a very generous take on the audio.

And, to the surprise of no one, Randy Scheueneman is a liar.  They're trying to cover for another age-driven screw-up.

The man's 72 years old.  And an old 72 at that.  As I said to Mig earlier, I keep waiting for someone to ask him to name the current president, and for McCain to reply with "Dwight Eisenhower" or something.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 02:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew, 72 is not old. I'm almost 72. Could I handle the President's job? Sure, mentally.
The only thing is that I would not like to travel. I like to stay close to my own bathroom.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 02:40:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why I added, "And an old 72 at that."  I'm completely in agreement that there are 72 year-olds who could handle the job properly.  My point, clumsily put, is that McCain is not one of them.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:02:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I really wouldn't want to be President. I'd probably have to give up my 2 p.m. nap.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:16:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nonsense.  Junior takes naps all the time.

Now if you wanted to be a good president, it might be another story.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the choice of approach to cover-up rather emphasises the contempt in the McCain camp for "European allies."

Not that I'm surprised by that, but I think it's worth emphasising, ready for the next time we're considering how NATO works.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 03:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The audio (via El Pais)

(man, the English grammar at El Pais is atrocious, they can't tell if apart from whether)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's another blogger account, from the Washington Post (via El Pais)
In comments that have caused a kerfuffle in Spain, McCain seemed to lump Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero in the same category as the anti-American leaders of Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. McCain's remarks came during in an English-language interview with Radio Caracol WSUA 1260AM in Miami, part of the Spanish-language radio group Union Radio, conducted Tuesday.

...

That McCain would lump Zapatero in with such Latin American bad guys as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez comes as a surprise, because Zapatero and Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, were the protagonists in one of the most public anti-Chavez moments in the Spanish-speaking world.

...

Radio Caracol is part of the Union Radio station group that is owned by the Spanish media conglomerate Groupo Prisa, which also owns El Pais.

The interview was not made by a Spanish radio station, but by a Spanish-language Miami radio station partly owned by the same conglomerate that owns El Pais.

The journalist claims they asked the question because the Spanish owners requested it. I wonder whether they did it on purpose since El Pais had already interviewed McCain in april and he had said he wanted to reconstitute relations with Spain.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:45:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, that's the same blog - LOL.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 18th, 2008 at 04:48:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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