Tuesday, March 20, 2007

¡Viva la Romney!

Now this is hilarious: in an attempt to pander to Cuban Republicans in South Florida, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney quoted one of Fidel Castro's favorite sayings in badly mangled Spanish:

Politicians in South Florida have lashed out at the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential hopeful for describing the socialist saying "Patria o muerte, venceremos" as "inspiring" and for claimingthe phrase was swiped from liberty-seeking Cubans by leftist admirers of Castro.

The phrase, which means "Fatherland or death, we shall overcome," was bellowed as a political speech sign-off by the dictator for decades....

At another point in the speech to the Miami-Dade Republican Party, Romney bungled the names of prominent Cuban GOP politicians, referring to Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio as "Mario."

Romney also garnered criticism for his hard-line stance on immigration and ending the talk with the phrase "Libertad, Libertad, Libertad," a revolutionary saying made famous in the gangster movie "Scarface," which many Cubans feel plays on cultural stereotypes.

But it was the former Bay State governor's use of an infamous Fidel Castro line that sparked the most controversy.

"Hugo Chavez has tried to steal an inspiring phrase - Patria o muerte, venceremos," Romney said. "It does not belong to him. It belongs to a free Cuba."

But scholars and prominent Cubans contend the saying has always been a Communist rallying cry and that it represents the very essence of Fidel Castro's oppressive regime.

Gee--we knew he was one of them darned Taxachussets libruls, but didja know he was a pinko Commie???!!

Romney can, of course, recover from this: it's still quite early in the race, and Romney doesn't need to get Florida to win the GOP primary. Still, it will be amusing to watch him try to explain this gaffe away--and it will harm his credibility even further as a politico trying to be all things to all people.

Not a good step for a guy trying desperately to catch up with even a faltering McCain, much less a surging Giuliani for the quixotic 2008 Republican effort.

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