New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio quoted Che Guevara on Thursday morning, sparking a lot of negative reaction. On CNN on Thursday afternoon, he apologized, claiming that he didn’t know any better.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who was conducting an interview that mostly prompted the mayor to offer campaign points without challenging them, gave de Blasio “the chance to respond” and “explain”. He brought up de Blasio’s tweeted explanation.
“You said you had no idea you were quoting Che Guevara,” said Blitzer. “So where did you pick up that phrase in the first place?”
“Yeah, look Wolf, that’s an honest mistake and I do apologize for it,” he said. “I literally meant it as a Spanish phrase, that these folks were going to be victorious, hang onto victory. that kind of thing.”
He said that the workers at the airport took it on good faith and added, “I apologize, I didn’t understand the context and I certainly did not mean to offend anyone.”
“Obviously, if I had understood the phrase’s origin better, I would not have used it. But it simply is a case of I literally understood it as a Spanish language translation of something I was trying to say to working people about the fact I thought they would be victorious in the end. And I apologized,” he said.
“I think in life you have to as a leader be able to say, if you did something wrong, even if you didn’t mean to, apologize and say I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone,” he said. “I understand the sensitivities. I’ve learned from that mistake.”
“Yeah, nothing wrong with apologizing,” said the sympathetic Blitzer. “As our moms and dads always told us, you make a mistake, you go ahead and apologize.”
Blitzer didn’t challenge de Blasio on the hard-to-credit notion that he accidentally used a specific and famous quote through the mere act of translating his sentiments into words. Instead, he was very keen on accepting whole cloth the explanation without question and simply agreeing that apologizing is a great and wonderful thing to do.
Then again, the mayor once inadvertently called President Trump a condom, when he referred to him as Con Don in a video. That’s the Spanish word for condom, so maybe ignorance wasn’t such a bad excuse after all.
“Condón” is one of the Spanish words for “condom” so this is pretty awkward https://t.co/cS93A8CcOp
— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) May 17, 2019
Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.
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