Donald Trump Couldn't Say Three Spanish Words Correctly in Little Havana Today

Donald Trump attempted to say three whole Spanish words in Little Havana today. He wrote a short phrase — a Cuban activist group's name — on a script, placed that script on a podium, reread all three palabras one more time before he spoke, steadied himself, opened his mouth, said the first word before clearly forgetting the second and third, reread the script, and finally got two of them right. That's 66 percent. Congrats, Don!

Trump popped down to Miami's traditionally Cuban neighborhood around 1 p.m. today to speak to the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, which endorsed Trump earlier this month. During the speech, Trump reiterated his commitment to ending Castro-style "government corruption" and also criticized the Obama administration for "propping up" the Castro regime. (He didn't mention that he himself did business in Cuba in the 1990s, probably violating the embargo.)

While speaking, Trump thanked the Brigade 2506 vets for their support and then attempted to thank their "sister organization," the Damas de Blanco. The Damas is a group of women related or married to jailed Cuban dissidents. They oppose the Castro regime.

But three whole Spanish words proved too much for the Donald today.

"I also want to recognize the Damas —" he said, extending the "s" sound because he'd clearly forgotten what came next. He consulted his script: "En Blanco," he said, messing up a simple preposition.

His eyes then frantically scanned the crowd for approval. After some of the Damas applauded, he pointed at the crowd and smiled, looking like a boy who'd forgotten to do the required reading in history class but correctly bullshit an answer about the Gettysburg Address.

Then he admitted that one of his surrogates, A.J. Delgado, a Cuban-American Miami native, actually had to help him with the phrase beforehand.

"I worked with A.J. on that a little while," Trump said, pointing at her. "A.J., come on. Come on over. Did I say that relatively well?" 

Trump makes the comment at the 27-minute mark in the video below:

It's no secret the Trump family has no idea what it's doing when it comes to the Spanish language. Last Friday, Trump's son Eric held a campaign event in North Carolina. Two Latina protesters rolled up — one, Ceci Cardelle, wore a shirt scrawled with the phrase "Latinas contra Trump," which, for the Spanish-illiterate, means "Latinas against Trump."

And, like magic, a blissfully unaware Eric Trump then posed smiling with the protester. Cardelle then told BuzzFeed News that literally no one at the event noticed what her shirt said.
Trump's issues with the Spanish language have also delved into much darker territory. During a primary debate earlier this year, the presidential candidate castigated opponent Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish fluently.

This is a country "where we speak English," Trump said in September 2015.

Politico reported earlier today that Trump's chances of winning Florida are "spiraling away." Perhaps some D-grade Spanish will give him a boost.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.