Friday, February 3, 2012

López Obrador: "I don't speak English, and I don't pretend to"

PRD nominee says he'll rely on translators, giving him "more time to think"

Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador laid in to the presidential heir apparent today, alleging that Enrique Peña Nieto, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) nominee, is 100% stage-managed. López Obrador didn't spare the Mexican media, either, whom he accused of conspiring to boost the front-runner.

"But people are starting to realize who this (Peña Nieto) really is, they've been completely deceived until now, what with the media's management of him and all, and they still protect him so carefully when he's on television," said PRD's nominee. Referring to questionable financial practices by PRI that surfaced last week, which the national press has shown little interest in pursuing, López Obrador said, "If it had been us, there would have been news bulletins every few minutes."

Then he attacked Peña Nieto's command of English, which is indeed poor (I saw him on television a few weeks ago attempting to read a few sentences in English; but for the Spanish subtitles, I wouldn't have been able to understand much of what he said). "I don't speak English either," commented López Obrador, "but I don't pretend to do so. His pronunciation is so bad, even though they give him everything to say in advance."

Mexico's last two presidents are fluent English speakers, particularly Felipe Calderón, who studied at Harvard. His predecessor, Vicente Fox, is also quite competent in the language.

For López Obrador, however, foreign langauge skills are not crucial. He plans to rely upon translators, he says -- "as did all of Mexico's great presidents." The advantage, claims the PRD nominee, is that "there's more time to think" before answering.

Footnote: Apparently Enrique Peña Nieto is so confident of victory that he made a cameo appearance last week at the G-20 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he tried to rub shoulders with dozens of national leaders and financial experts. But it must have been a bit embarrassing for the PRI nominee when he had to listen to the key note address of his own president, Felipe Calderón, who is the new leader of the G-20 ( Calderón's speech, portions of which I watched, was in almost impeccable Engish. Peña Nieto heard it too -- in a translator's voice, through a headset.

Will Manuel López Obrador be the party spoiler?:
Ken doll politics:
"From an empty head, nothing comes":
"I'm not the lady of the house":
The "lightweight":
The "soap opera actor":

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