During an interview in Miami earlier this week with Spanish-language station Union Radio, a reporter asked McCain whether, if elected, he would receive Zapatero in the White House. McCain answered, "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."
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When the questioner said, "Now let's talk of Spain" and asked whether he'd invite Zapatero, McCain responded with a vague statement that he would meet "with those leaders who are our friends" and then cited Mexican president Felipe Calderon as an example. The questioner tried several more times to steer the Senator back to a clear answer on Spain, but he never directly addressed it, saying: "What I would say is that my record is that of someone who has worked in a friendly atmosphere with those who are our friends and faced up to those who aren't."
From this, much of the Spanish press has concluded that the Republican candidate, who hails himself as the experienced foreign policy choice in this election, confused Spain — a NATO member and key ally in the fight against terrorism — with one of those troublesome Latin American states.
In a later interview, the reporter herself said that she thought McCain did know where Spain was, but was ducking the question:
"I didn't get the impression that he didn't know who Zapatero was or where Spain was," the reporter, Yoli Cuello, told me. "Honestly, what I thought was that he didn't want to answer the question with a yes or no answer."
So the best possible spin on this ... is that McCain doesn't want to talk to our allies. The next best scenario is, what, that he doesn't know where Spain is? Heck, even al-Qaeda knows where Spain is (as they proved on March 11, 2004)!
(The original, untranslated audio of the McCain interview is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WItI9It_Swc)
[Edited to fix date of bombings]