'Debating with a woman is complicated' says Spanish Partido Popular EU candidate

Saturday, May 17, 2014

File photo of Miguel Arias Cañete
Image: World Trade Organization.
File photo of Elena Valenciano
Image: Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

Yesterday, Partido Popular candidate for the European Parliament Miguel Arias Cañete said of his performance during the previous night's debate against Spanish Socialist Workers' Party's Elena Valenciano on Spanish television's Antena 3 program Espejo Público, "Debating with a woman is complicated. If you demonstrate intellectual superiority or you corner her, it's sexist." ((es))Spanish language: ‍El debate con una mujer es complicado. Si demuestras superioridad intelectual o la acorralas, es machista.

Cañete went on to say, "If I was debating with Señor Rubalcaba, we can say all kinds of barbaric things, but with a woman it's interpreted differently." ((es))Spanish language: ‍Si debato con el señor Rubalcaba nos podemos decir todas las barbaridades, pero con una mujer se interpreta de otra manera. Later on the same program, he said, "With all the provocations from Señora Valenciano, all the demagoguery and populist statements, with all the half truths and lies, if I had been myself I would fear me. I would have gone for the kill" ((es))Spanish language: ‍Con todas las provocaciones de la señora Valenciano, toda la demagogia y apelaciones al populismo, con todas las medias verdades y mentiras, si soy yo mismo me temo. Entraría a matar. He then went on to admit he is sometimes not politically correct.

Valenciano took to Twitter while the show aired to say, "So? What shall we do?? Remove women from debate??" ((es))Spanish language: ‍Entonces?? Qué hacemos? Fuera mujeres del debate??

The quote was read live to Cañete, who responded by saying, "For me, it is more difficult, it is harder." ((es))Spanish language: ‍Para mí es más difícil, me cuesta más. Spanish Socialist Workers' Party boss Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba responded on Twitter, saying, "Cañete, the machismo of the sore loser." ((es))Spanish language: ‍Cañete, el machismo del mal perdedor.

Both politicians spent most of the debate focusing on the failings of the other's political party. Neither politician talked much about corruption, Catalonia or Europe. The topic of abortion was brought up and discussed by Valenciano, but before Cañete had the chance to respond to her remarks, the debate televiser RTVE cut to commercial. Partido Popular had supported changes in abortion law that were viewed as controversial, and led to protests by several thousand people claiming the changes encroached on the rights of women. In the debate, Valenciano said Partido Popular had suspended their efforts to change the law in order to win this election.

The European Parliament elections are scheduled to be held on May 25.