May 25, 2012 at 11:54 am
It’s been a banner week for Florida politicians and Spanish-speaking areas of the world, one full of gaffes, goofs, and gamesmanship.
In an effort to gain traction with Florida’s Latino population, politicians often go out of their way to show appropriate relations with Latin America or Spanish-speaking territories like Puerto Rico. Sometimes, however, things get lost in translation.
Such was the case this week when Mack’s campaign was forced to release a new version of an endorsement they circulated Tuesday from Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno. The first endorsement sent to reporters included statements the governor apparently did not make bashing Sen. Bill Nelson.
The Buzz reported Fortuno was “displeased” and Mack’s campaign was forced to send out a new endorsement, one omitting Nelson entirely. The campaign said the initial release was an “erroneous working draft.”
“An approved version of the Spanish release went out and a working draft of the English version went out. However, the right version of the English version has been on the website since the error was discovered yesterday and we have been in contact with the Governor’s office since about the matter,” Mack campaign spokesperson David James said.
Then there was Gov. Rick Scott apologizing Thursday for embarrassing Spanish King Juan Carlos.
In case you missed it, “The Crowley Report” broke the story late Wednesday that Scott, during his trip to Madrid this week, repeatedly asked the king about his controversial elephant hunt in Botswana. In a video of the encounter, Scott joked he’d ridden elephants but never tried to shoot them.
“If I did anything to do — anything wrong — I completely apologize,” Scott said upon his arrival at Miami International Airport. “The king’s a wonderful person. He’s a wonderful world leader. He’s done so many wonderful things in his life.”
Of course when it comes to Cuba, many Florida politicians are more than happy to offend–especially at the risk of making Obama look bad during an election year.
The State Department’s decision granting a U.S. visa to Raul Castro’s daughter erupted into a political fight this week in Florida, with Republicans bending over backwards to appease one of Florida’s most crucial voting blocs, Cuban-Americans.
And since Cuba tends to be the third-rail of Sunshine State politics, Republicans got company when DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nelson broke with Obama.
Florida’s Republicans, however, raised the stakes—taking every opportunity to hit Obama. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart called the visa decision “reprehensible,” Sen. Marco Rubio said it was “shameful,” the RNC accused the president of “rolling out the red carpet for the Castro family.”
In their rush to hit Obama they conveniently failed to acknowledge that Bush’s administration allowed Mariela Castro to visit the U.S. multiple times
But in the case of Cuba, there will be no apologizes. Florida politicians think they finally embarrassed the right leader: Their own.