John McCain | News | Republican Party

John McCain Already Shaking up Foreign Policy

Hasn't Bush already alienated enough of our allies?

ZapateroJohn McCain's gaffe yesterday on Spain — in which he responded to a question about our U.S. ally with an answer usually reserved for countries about which our relationship is much less clear — is more astonishing given his own campaign's admission that his answer was intentional.

Asked whether or not he would invite Prime Minister Zapatero to the White House, McCain responded:

"Honestly, I have to analyze our relationships, situations and priorities, but I can assure you that I will establish closer relationships with our friends, and I will stand up to those who want to harm the United States."

There's much more to the interview, and you can listen to more of it, AFTER THE JUMP, but you can imagine what conclusions the Spanish press has already drawn about McCain's policies with regard to that country.

Even more shocking is the McCain campaign's response to media frenzy around the issue. Rather than say McCain just wasn't paying attention to the question, or he didn't hear it right, "McCain's campaign insists he was aware it was Spain that was being discussed" according to Politico's Jonathan Martin.

Watch CNN take it all apart, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on McCain [time]
McCain camp stands by tough talk on Spain [politico]
McCain seemingly rejects Spain as an ally [think progress]
Senator McCain, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still seriously dead [americablog]

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  1. Oh I don't think anybody gives two hoots about Spain, anyway. I mean what do they have to offer besides bullfighting and flamenco dancers?

    Posted by: countess de gooch | Sep 19, 2008 2:21:23 PM

  2. Not giving a shit about world opinion kinda got us in the spot we're in now, sweetie.

    Shit. Every day this guy is running we get closer and closer to that movie "Idiocracy." Scary stuff.

    Posted by: Dan | Sep 19, 2008 2:36:49 PM

  3. But, Dan, "it's got electro-lites!"

    Posted by: RP | Sep 19, 2008 2:44:40 PM

  4. Spain allows gay marriages. Allowing a leader from there to visit here would bring a plague on all our houses!

    Could it be any clearer that he is too damn old to possibly be president now, much less in a few years?

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 19, 2008 2:50:44 PM

  5. Senile Dementia!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 19, 2008 2:52:07 PM

  6. The problem is that McCain is so old that he was referring to Zapata(, you know the famous mexican revolutionary, not the leader of Spain Zapatero.

    Posted by: leo | Sep 19, 2008 2:59:19 PM

  7. David Ehrenstein



    Are you related to The dowager Queen? ;-)

    Anyway; what spain has going for it at the moment vis a vis american interests = Spain has a couple thousand spanish troops in afganistan helping us there and have suffered quite a few deaths of their troops in afganistan (if i was spain = F mcshame / pull troops out and state if Obama is prez then will send them back in to help HIS leading the US soldiers in afganistan)......also a NATO ally!!! HUGE influence over latin american countries (we are having a tough time with venezuale etc 23% of US oil comes from there) hello, is this mic on?

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Sep 19, 2008 3:05:27 PM

  8. For Countess: In Spain I don't think anybody gives two hoots about USA. What do USA have to offer besides burgers and bombs?

    Posted by: Manolo | Sep 19, 2008 3:09:35 PM

  9. Hey Countess, how 'bout Ibiza; Gay Marriage, Adoption and on and on. There are a lot of gay friendly areas in the major cities (i.e. Madrid, Barcelona, etc.) and off the coast. I have friends that have a summer home there and a lot of queers from Europe vacation there. Oh yeah, and don't forget they're an ally of the U.S. Enlighten yourself.

    Posted by: Keith | Sep 19, 2008 3:36:02 PM

  10. It's obvious he had no clue as to who Zapatero was - hence the references to "the hemisphere" and "latin america." Also obvious is that his campaign felt it was worse to admit his mistake - ignorance? senility? - than to allow him to slam our European friend and ally, Spain. Truly sad and pathetic.

    Posted by: wisebear | Sep 19, 2008 3:47:53 PM

  11. McCain suffers from PTSD. He knows nothing about foreign policy, and is an ugly albino gold digger.

    Posted by: Tyler | Sep 19, 2008 3:58:10 PM

  12. You mean Spain isn't in Latin America? Oops. McCain's going to be busy waving his little red cape to distract those charging media bulls.

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 19, 2008 4:15:14 PM

  13. He's old and he's loosing it. It's obvious and becoming more obvious every day. His VP is an uneducated, limited, anti-intellectual religious fanatic. This is the best the Republicans could come up with? Unbelievable.

    Posted by: sam | Sep 19, 2008 4:16:40 PM

  14. Hahaha! Lord, Lord.


    who told you that John McCain was an albino? He's not an albino, he's just a gray old man.

    Albino...oh, my. Ha ha ha....

    Poor little ol''s getting rough.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 19, 2008 4:16:54 PM

  15. McCain is simply playing to his base. Spain's government has been outspoken in opposing the Iraq war -- and to add insult to injury, was among the first in Europe to recognize gay marriage.

    McCain is using the typical Republican strategy of taking up a foreign policy stance not because of the effect it will have on our foreign relations, but because of how it will play to the fears and prejudices of his domestic supporters.

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Sep 19, 2008 4:17:08 PM

  16. McCain is going senile! And his handlers are doing everything they can to keep anyone from finding out. Of course, having a press that isn't interested in doing its job doesn't hurt their chances. But all one has to do is pay attention to his actions and comments over the past six months to see all the symptoms of Alzheimer's.

    As for Spain, it's part of NATO. We have a treaty that says if Spain is ever attacked, we will come to her defense. What kind of idiot would deliberately insult an American ally? Wait...stupid question.

    Posted by: Kyle Michel Sullivan | Sep 19, 2008 4:49:50 PM

  17. Spain has tried for the past couple of years to get some recognition from Bush... who has pretty much ignored the country. So I guess McCain's reaction is right on par. Except for the Latin America part of it... wait, no... right on par with Bush....

    Posted by: lis | Sep 19, 2008 4:52:51 PM

  18. "McCain is simply playing to his base."

    Oh? I thought he was a maverick?

    Posted by: crispy | Sep 19, 2008 4:53:58 PM

  19. I don't think the Republicans expected to win the election this year, particularly against Hillary. Obama is so liberal though, that it's left a crack in the door. He needs to moderate his views and fast.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2008 5:21:06 PM

  20. Hillary clinton on a conference call today with some reporters and 2 bloggers (Taylor marsh was one) announced the formation of "Hillary Sent Me" (top thread)

    "....she announced her new general election push, "Hillary Sent Me," which is specifically geared towards Clinton supporters, to get everyone working to elect Obama-Biden. "This is so important," said Clinton during the call. Senator Clinton has already raised $5 million for Obama-Biden, with much more to come, with the focus not only on electing the top of the ticket, but also down ticket Dems to turn the Congress deep blue. "


    Show your appreciation for Clintons'(both) legacy + and whole hearted support/ backing of Obama/ Biden by sending a couple of bucks her way to help retire her debt

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Sep 19, 2008 5:21:20 PM

  21. Wisebear is right. He didn't know what country he was being asked about. He also didn't know the name Zapatero, so he just faked his way through the interview assuming that she was talking about another Latin America nation. (See also: Palin faking about Bush Doctrine.) To be fair, the interviewer's accent and the phone connection make it a bit hard to understand every word she is saying and she had been asking about Latin American countries previously.

    The logical response from the campaign should have been that McCain had difficulty hearing the questions and he had not understood them correctly. That might, however, have opened up issues about age. So, instead, they took the ridiculous position of supporting his answer and thus insulting Spain. In this case, the crime - not knowing that they were talking about Spain - is less serious than the cover-up - the campaign not acknowledging the mistake and clarifying our true relationship with Spain.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Sep 19, 2008 5:21:28 PM

  22. He has no idea who she's talking about. That's scary.

    Posted by: Cadence | Sep 19, 2008 9:18:51 PM

  23. see travis becker plane crashed pictures and news at

    Posted by: jyotsna | Sep 21, 2008 3:08:02 AM

  24. Hello! First of all, forgive my english,it's not the best. Second, here in Spain, like in the rest of Europe, most of the people are wishing Obama wins in November. We are very excited with your elections. About Zapatero and Bush, it's a long story. The last spanish pm, Aznar, was a very conservative man, and he put Spain in the war, against the will of the people. When Zapatero won, he pulled out the troops, as he promised in the electoral campaign. Since then, and is like five years ago, Bush and Zapatero didn't have any encounter. It's ridiculous, because Spain is and ally and a very important bridge between Europe and Latin America. We thougt Mc Cain was more moderate, but...Oh, and Sarah Palin scares me!!!

    Posted by: Pelikan | Sep 21, 2008 6:12:04 AM

  25. oh lordy we poor lost souls in old europe can't wait for a visit from your next president and that charming "woman" he has selected so carefully as his deputy, they are both so well travelled and sophisticated about the world especially your oldest allies and the former colonial european states that contributed so much to your culture, languages and philosophical view of the world.

    Seriously, please do not elect this man and his deputy, the world needs US leadership again on a whole range of issues; just not by him!

    Posted by: arch | Sep 22, 2008 4:37:31 AM

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