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I just sent this out to my email list.  Please spread it wide.

Here's a story that is being widely reported in the Spanish press, although it hasn't yet broken into the U.S. "news" cycle.  In just 60 seconds, John McCain both showed himself to be mentally impaired for the job of President and insulted a major European country.

McCain did an interview yesterday with a Spanish language radio station called Union Radio.  In the second half of the interview, they asked him (through a translator) what he thought about US relations with several different Spanish-speaking countries.

The exact audio is here: http://www.cadenaser.com/...  .  One of you will surely be able to translate it better than me.

When they asked McCain about U.S.-Spain relations and Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, and whether McCain would extend an invitation for Zapatero to meet him at the White House, something strange happened:  McCain, with no apparent confusion and full confidence, repeatedly said that he would NOT welcome Zapatero into the White House, since he will only meet with friends of the United States, and will confront those leaders who are enemies of the US.

The incredulous interviewer asked him to clarify his statement, and McCain repeated what he said, with the added statement that he realizes how important U.S. relations are with Latin America.

The interviewer, helping McCain along now, said (my translation): "OK, yes, but we're talking about Europe.  About the President of Spain, would you meet with him?"  McCain's response: "I am willing to meet with leaders who uphold the same principles and philosophy as we do -- human rights, democracy, and freedom -- and I will stand up to those that do not."  He gave the example of the President of Mexico as someone that he would meet with and work with.

This was not a simple slip or gaffe.  The interviewer repeated the question four times, asking him in different ways and helping him along, and each time he stuck to his point.

As I said, this is being reported widely in Spain  (which is, as I'm sure you know, a European country with friendly relations with the U.S.) as an insult.

Here's one example:
http://www.abc.es/...
The lede of this article reads: "The frailty between the governments of the United States and Spain could continue if the Republican candidate John McCain arrives at the White House on November 4, after which, as he said yesterday, it is uncertain whether he would receive Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero in Washington."  (my translation)

There are two interpretations: either McCain was dangerously confused about where and what the country of Spain is (the best case scenario).  Or, as some of the Spanish press has reported, McCain is ready to pursue an anti-Spain policy since they were one of the first coalition countries to withdraw their troops from Iraq.

Either way, I find this an extremely telling moment that cements in my mind why John McCain would be such a dangerous president at this time in our history.  Our international relations have been strained to the breaking point by the Bush administration.  Is John McCain the person we want meeting with the leaders of China, Russia, Israel, and Iraq, trying to solve some of the world's most complicated problems? Is he the person we want in the situation room, leading our military at 3am?

Donate and volunteer for Barack Obama now before it's too late:
http://donate.barackobama.com/

And pass this along to undecided voters, who need to understand the choice in front of them, free of talking points and spin.

Update: Turns out that Talking Points Memo has some great coverage of this international incident.  But no English-language MSM has reported on it.  Send to your email lists and spread it around!

Originally posted to archibaldtuttle on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 08:25 PM PDT.

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