March 19, 2007


Presidential candidate bungles speech in Miami (BETH REINHARD, 3/19/07, Miami Herald)

People chuckled when presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon raised in Michigan and elected in Massachusetts, bungled the names of Cuban-American politicians during a recent speech in Miami.

But when he mistakenly associated Fidel Castro's trademark speech-ending slogan -- Patria o muerte, venceremos! -- with a free Cuba, listeners didn't laugh. They winced.

Castro has closed his speeches with the phrase -- in English, ''Fatherland or death, we shall overcome'' -- for decades.

''Clearly, that's something he was ill-advised on or didn't do his homework on,'' said Hialeah City Council President Esteban Bovo. ``When you get cute with slogans, you get yourself into a trap.''

Time to put this campaign out of its misery.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2007 12:02 AM

Yes, anyone who isn't a perfect public speaker can ever be president. (rolls eyes)

Posted by: Bryan at March 19, 2007 10:09 AM

Yes, but for reasons other than his imperfect Spanish.

Posted by: erp at March 19, 2007 10:21 AM

Commonly referred to as "miltdown."

(Of course, quoting Castro could happen to anybody....)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 19, 2007 10:31 AM

Big deal. Mitt's running for 2nd. That will put him first in line for the next available slot.

Posted by: b at March 19, 2007 11:05 AM

Well at least he didn't say he was a "jelly doughnut"

"Kennedy should have said "Ich bin Berliner" to mean "I am a person from Berlin." By adding the indefinite article ein, his statement implied he was a non-human Berliner, thus "I am a jelly doughnut" Berliner being a pastry

Posted by: h-man at March 19, 2007 11:08 AM

The field is empty; cognoscenti like the judd readers think this is a McCain/Guliani fight. This is the conservative version of the global warming "insight."

It's really all about the Gov. Mitt and the actor Thompson.

Posted by: Palmcroft at March 19, 2007 11:15 AM

He was brainwashed; it runs in the family.

Posted by: ed at March 19, 2007 12:07 PM

No one is a contender for the #2 slot who dodges re-election.

Posted by: oj at March 19, 2007 1:02 PM

Funny thing, Romney's closer to McCain than McCain is to Rudy. The Arizona grump and the Massachusetts doofus are both putting their campaigns out of their misery. Last I checked, McCain was telling his media buddies how ugly Americans are. That'll really play well with GOP primary voters.

Senility has finished one guy, congenital cluelessness has torpedoed the other. With this "competition", Rudy has it wrapped.

Posted by: Casey Abell at March 19, 2007 2:14 PM

Dropping the customary article in German when decribing a place of origen is one of those quirks that can catch the unwary. It is sort of like the English idiom whereby one is said to be "promoted captain," instead of "promoted to captain."

Missing a point like those is much more excusable than using a Communist slogan to Cuban refugees, which is sort of like the Russians playing Marching Through Georgia, in honor of Jimmy Carter. A prudent person planning to use a foreign phrase in a speech should certainly run the words past a native speaker from the region in which the speech is to be given.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 19, 2007 4:56 PM