‘Spaniards React to Obama’s Defense of President Zapatero’: El Mundo of Spain

As we covered last week at WORLDMEETS.US in an article headlined, ‘Spain’s Conservatives Back McCain’s ‘Snub’ of President Zapatero‘, the Republican candidate’s recent comments about Spain’s Socialist leader have sparked a tremendous controversy in that country.

It all began with an interview John McCain gave last week to a Spanish-language radio station in Miami, in which McCain appeared to have trouble identifying Zapatero – or even what continent his country is in. He then seemed to imply that Spain may not be a U.S. ally.

This article, from Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, highlights how both the ruling Socialist party and the opposition conservatives have reacted to Obama’s jab at McCain over the episode in the debate last night.

Congressional leader of the opposition Popular Party, Saenz de Santamaria, is quoted as saying in part:

“I was surprised by Mr. Obama’s question in relation to Zapatero visiting the White House. Mr. Obama already scandalized the President of our Government when during his European tour, didn’t even visit him in our country.”

As for Elena Valenciano, International Relations Secretary for ruling Socialists, the article says she and her party:

“Expresses the Government’s ‘absolute’ respect for both candidates, but considers that Obama’s bid is “better for the world, for Europe, and for Spain” and that “one could argue that McCain ‘benefited’ because the topic of the debate was foreign policy, but that Obama ‘responded constructively’ to the issues raised.’

The article is packaged with both the McCain interview and last night’s exchange over the issue of Spain.

Translated By Paula van de Werken

September 27, 2008

Spain – El Mundo – Original Article (Spanish)

Madrid/Valencia: The Socialist Party of Spain [the ruling, left-wing party] and the Popular Party [the leading opposition right-wing party] are taking their own readings of the first electoral debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, although this takes them away from their usual terrain. The Congressional leader of the Popular Party, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, expressed his surprise at the interest that Democratic candidate Barack Obama showed during the debate for the President of the Spanish Government, Jose Luis Zapatero.

[Editor’s Note: In last night’s debate, Obama accused McCain of implying in an interview that Spanish President Zapatero isn’t an ally of the United States. It actually appeared as though Senator McCain wasn’t sure who the interviewer was talking about.

“I was surprised by Mr. Obama’s question in relation to Zapatero visiting the White House. Mr. Obama already scandalized the President of our Government when during his European tour, didn’t even visit him in our country” said Saenz de Santamaria.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated and English foreign press coverage of the U.S. election and the Presidential debates.

Author: WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)

Founder and Managing Editor of Worldmeets.US