Elections bring out the good, the bad and the…awkward in candidates. Whether it’s mangling the Spanish language, parading a Latino-ish family member or going off script, candidates leave enough material for a Saturday Night Live sketch. Here’s are some of those moments:
“I speak pigeon Spanish”
Apparently, Spanish lessons did not pay off for Newt Gingrich. In a recent interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos in Miami, the barely-audible Gingrich spoke a few phrases in Spanish and told Ramos that he couldn’t understand him if he went fast (¡más lento Jorge!). Later, he confessed he spoke “pigeon Spanish” (seriously?) and reverted to speaking in English.
No hablo español, but my son does
While Newt was busy not getting his Spanish on, his rival for the Republican presidential nomination Mitt Romney brought his son out to stump for him in Miami. His handsome progeny provided a smooth introduction in Spanish. And it was clear from the smiling no comprendo looks on their faces, that Mitt and his wife Ann barely understood a word said by their son.
Yo hablo español 24-7
Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor, relentlessly trotted out his Spanish speaking skills during his 1988 bid for the White House. He even began speaking Spanish during the middle of his speech at the Democratic National Convention when accepting the party’s nomination. His constant use of the language caused one TV producer to comment that his events would soon need a translator. Depending on how you look at it, The Duke was either ahead of his time or shamelessly courting.
The little brown Bush
During W’s election campaign in 2000, Bush used the most secret weapon in his arsenal to grab Latinos’ attention: his nephew George P. Bush, son of brother Jeb and his Mexican wife. The “little brown” Bush (famously dubbed by his grandfather George H.) campaigned for his uncle at various events throughout the election. It seems like that nephew gets pulled out only when there are Latino voters on the scene.
Who’s John McCain’s Daddy?
In 2008, McCain tried to make Latino voters forget about his flip flopping on issues like immigration and national security. He even pulled out reggaetonero Daddy Yankee to endorse him. “I know why you’re sitting here and it’s not to listen to me…” McCain stiffly uttered before presenting el Cangri to gasping girls that gave way to an audience of giggles.
Hillary party rocks
Former Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Puerto Rico in 2008 to win delegates for the Democratic Party’s nomination. Well, we all know how that campaign ended. What few folks know is that the HC knows how to get down with una fria. She did a little head bop and enjoyed some Presidente.