If running for president of the United States were indeed a game of “Jeopardy,” then the Mexican president’s name would be filed under “World Leaders For $100.” According to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), though, knowing the name of the leader for a neighboring country is a task too far for a presidential candidate.
Speaking at a CNN Town Hall in Nevada on Tuesday, Klobuchar addressed the big gaffe she made during an interview on Telemundo in which she admitted to not knowing who Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador actually was. According to Klobuchar, she was too tired after a day of hard work while dismissing her critics as being trivia-obsessed. Take a look:
Amy Klobuchar reacts to Pete Buttigieg knocking her for not recalling the Mexican president's name: "When that happened, for what it's worth, I had been in the Senate all day. … I would say to the mayor, this isn't like a game of 'Jeopardy!'" #cnntownhall https://t.co/S9S8IYLXb7 pic.twitter.com/q1VrxptfPv
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 19, 2020
“You were asked to give the name of the president of Mexico, you couldn’t at the time, mayor Buttigieg did know the name, and he says it helps his argument that Washington experience is not necessary to be president. Does it?” CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Klobuchar.
Klobuchar, appearing flummoxed, stuttered for a moment as she attempted to explain herself. Most impressively, she even managed to lay some of her gaffe’s blame at the feet of President Trump, because she was apparently too tired after being in the “Senate all day” voting on a resolution to rein in his power.
“Well, first of all I would like to give my greetings to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the president of Mexico,” Klobuchar began. “When that happened, for what it’s worth, I had been in the Senate all day, we had six votes, including a resolution to be a check on the president so that he does not go to war with Iran. I got on a plane and got there, I think, at midnight my time, and had a fast interview, and then did two forums after that, ending at about two or three in the morning.”
In response to Mayor Buttigieg’s dig, Klobuchar suggested he stop acting like the election is a “game of ‘Jeopardy.'”
“I would say to the mayor, this isn’t like a game of ‘Jeopardy,'” she said. “I have been in the Senate, I have passed over 100 bills. As a lead Democrat, I think that matters, and most importantly, I have been able to win in rural and suburban districts. I have been able to win with independent Republicans.”
Below is a brief transcript of the awkward exchange between Klobuchar and Telemundo’s Guadalupe Venegas:
VENEGAS: Do you, I’m sorry to ask this, but do you know who he is? Do you know his name?
KLOBUCHAR: Yeah, yeah- I know that he is the Mexican president.
VENEGAS: But can you tell me his name?
VENEGAS: Don’t you think it would be important if you’re running for president to know who the president of Mexico, the country to the south of the United States is?
VENEGAS: Because it affects so many Americans. Mexican Americans are the largest Hispanic — the largest number of Hispanics in the US are Mexican-Americans.
KLOBUCHAR: Of course it is, yes.
The senator from Minnesota has been playing hard damage control over the past two days to minimize the gaffe, which occurred just she as was experiencing a surge in support.