Sacre bleu! Mitt Romney speaks French

According to a correspondent who contacted me today, one of the US presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich, has attacked one of the other candidates, Mitt Romney, for speaking French. Not only does he speak French, but there’s also a video of him on YouTube speaking in French (made 10 years ago). What is the world coming to!

Here’s Newt Gingrich’s video in which he critcizes Mitt Romney for, among other things, speaking French:

The correspondent asks “Do your politicians get THIS crazy on the other side of the pond? Just curious…”

I haven’t noticed this kind of nonsense here in the UK – what about in other countries?

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This entry was posted in French, Language.

11 Responses to Sacre bleu! Mitt Romney speaks French

  1. Paul S. says:

    Not as blatant maybe, but there’s a slightly wide-eyed xenophobic undertone to some of the coverage of Nick Clegg’s multilingualism, don’t you think?

  2. Mut says:

    Speaking French is bad? Here in France all our politicians speak French, it’s terrible!

  3. JoeInAtlanta says:

    That commercial really surprises me. The state of Georgia (not the former Soviet republic of Georgia, but the other one) is very conservative — but politicians here still see great value in multiculturalism. It’s not at all uncommon to see them trying to carry on simple conversations in Mandarin or Korean when they’re trying to entice a manufacturing plant to locate here.

    Gingrich is desperate, and is seeing his chance of nomination evaporate before his eyes. I think this ad is more a reflection of a campaign in a death spiral then it is a reflection of the views of conservative voters in the U.S.

    As a liberal, there’s a lot on which I disagree with U.S. conservatives — but a respect for broadening one’s education in any direction has never been a point of contention between our side and theirs.

  4. Petréa Mitchell says:

    It’s not just Romney– another Republican candidate was attacked because he speaks fluent Mandarin. (Not as prominently, because he was never a prominent candidate.)

  5. David Craig says:

    Laissez bon temps roulez?!

    Je m’appelle Mitt Romney?!

    Je ne parle pas fran├žais but I can handle that much.

    Newt “I don’ speak nothin’ but good Merkin” Gingrich est un idiot.

  6. Michel says:

    Mitt Romney was a Mormon missionary here in France during his youth, hence his knowledge of the language. We are accustomed to be used as scapegoats by some U.S. politicians. The average American nitwit adores. I must sadly admit that some French politicians would also like to play this kind of dirty game. As an example, our PM said recently about Eva Joly (a Norwegian born candidate for the presidency of the republic and a 50-year resident) “I think this lady doesn’t have a sound knowledge of the French culture …”. So which side of the pond is the dirtier ?

  7. D.Jay says:

    Ha. In Canada the politicians get excoriated if they DON’T speak French. Or if they try and speak French and end up with some garbled franglish. But yeah, some of the American xenophobia is scary.

  8. David says:

    “A person who knows three languages is trilingual.
    A person who knows two languages is bilingual.
    A person who knows only one language is called an American.”

  9. Jim M. says:

    It’s been pointed out that Gingrich, who wrote a Ph.D. thesis on the Belgian Congo, almost certainly speaks French as well.

  10. Simon says:

    Yes, apparently Gingrich is “bilingual, with a working knowledge of French.”

  11. Drabkikker says:

    I’m a bit confused. The but in He speaks French too, but he’s still a Massachusetts Moderate would imply that his speaking French is portrayed as something positive (albeit with a dose of sarcasm).