WASHINGTON — First Lady Jill Biden has apologized for comparing the diversity of Hispanics to that of breakfast tacos, a comment that drew widespread ridicule, and not just from Republicans eager to embarrass the White House.
“The diversity of this community — distinct as the bodegas of the Bronx, as beautiful as the flowers of Miami and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio — is your strength,” she said Monday in San Antonio at a conference of UnidosUS, a large gathering of Latino advocates and leaders. “And yet, it’s when we speak with one voice…united– that you find your power.
Unlike some of her husband’s more goofy bloopers, the taco commentary was scripted — included in the prepared script released by her office before she started speaking at the Grand Hyatt Riverwalk.
The Republican hype was relentless.
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas whose father emigrated from Cuba, retweeted a video clip of Biden’s comment with a funny quip, followed by three taco emojis: “Personally, I’m a chorizo, an egg and a cheese .
The House party’s campaign arm tweeted an image of Dr. Biden in a hail of tacos with the tag “Taco Tuesday.”
“The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything other than pure admiration and love for the Latino community,” her spokesperson, Michael LaRosa, said on Twitter Tuesday morning.
The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything other than pure admiration and love for the Latino community.
— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosa46) July 12, 2022
Governor Greg Abbott retweeted a video clip, adding, “Breakfast tacos? This is why Hispanics in Texas are turning away from the Democratic Party [P]artistic.
But it wasn’t just supporters who berated the first lady.
“Using breakfast tacos in an attempt to demonstrate the uniqueness of Latinos in San Antonio demonstrates a lack of cultural knowledge and sensitivity,” the National Association of Hispanic Journalists said in a statement. “We are not tacos. Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by a variety of diasporas, cultures and food traditions, and should not be reduced to a stereotype.
Some defended the comment as a foolish attempt to respect the diversity of the 62 million Latinos in the United States and lambasted Republicans for their fake rage over a misstep.
UnidosUS’ annual conference was titled “Siempre Adelante: Our quest for fairness.
The taco comparison eclipsed her maimed gringa mispronunciation of the term for small neighborhood grocery stores (she said “BOW-guh-dahs”, mixing syllables and emphasis, rather than “bow-DAY-guhs”).
Some Republicans have complained that the media is not adequately covering Dr. Biden’s offense, saying the outcry would be far greater if a Republican said such a thing.
Conservative comedian and author Tim Young called the fact that it was not “canceled” a sign of “liberal privilege”.
The liberal privilege is that Jill Biden tells a bunch of Hispanics they’re “as diverse as breakfast tacos” and they’re not being canceled for it. pic.twitter.com/VlaISXy8Pl
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 11, 2022
“Trump ate a bowl of tacos on Cinco De Mayo and they went crazy for YEARS,” tweeted Matt Whitlock, a Republican strategist, recalling Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign tweet, a photo of him enjoying a taco bowl at his desk with the message: “The best taco bowls are made in the Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!
“We invite Jill Biden to return to Texas so she can continue to remind us how out of touch the Biden administration is,” said Macarena Martinez, spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.
“I want to thank you for showing everyone how racist you, your husband and your party are. You are absolutely disgusting,” tweeted Irene Armendariz-Jackson, the GOP challenger hoping to unseat Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso.
NAHJ encourages @FLOTUS and its communications team to take the time to better understand the complexities of our people and our communities.
We are not tacos.
Our heritage as Latinos is shaped by diverse diasporas, cultures and food traditions.
Don’t reduce us to stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/KQIq5gwsht
– NAHJ (@NAHJ) July 12, 2022
Later Tuesday morning, Dr. Biden escorted Mexico’s first lady, Dr. Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller de López Obrador, on a visit to the Library of Congress as their husbands met in the Oval Office.
For eight years as second lady and 18 months as first lady, Dr. Biden largely avoided the kind of verbal gaffes that have been something of a signature for President Joe Biden during his five decades in Washington.
Mostly, but not entirely.
In April 2021, she slaughtered the rally cry SI’m a bitch! during a speech to California farmworkers honoring labor leader Cesar Chavez, as some of those who taunted her for the social media taco comment recalled, “Cesar Chavez understood that no matter obstacles, when people come together united in a cause, anything is possible. Yes we can. Sí se pwodway!” she says.
“Pwodway” is not a word in Spanish or English.
But she’s not the first first lady to say or do something that prompts the White House to send in a cleanup crew.
In 1998, Hillary Clinton attributed reports of Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky to a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” an allegation that would forever haunt her own political career.
During the 2008 campaign, future first lady Michelle Obama said at a rally in Milwaukee that “for the first time in my adult life, I’m truly proud of my country – and not just because Barack did well, but because I think people are hungry for change.
When Melania Trump boarded a flight to McAllen, Texas in June 2018 for a visit to a detention center for immigrant children, she wore a military-style coat with large graffiti on the back that read “I really don’t care. And you? »
President Trump has insisted that she hunts down “fake news”, and does not project disinterest in migrant children. She supported him a few days later.
But Stephanie Grisham – a senior aide to the first lady at the time and later White House press secretary – said in a tell-all book that the president called his wife in the Oval Office when he returned from South Texas. and asked, “What the hell were you thinking?
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