MIAMI — ¡ Que idiota!
Mayor de Blasio tripped up on the campaign trail Thursday when he quoted Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara in Miami — and then claimed he was clueless about the origin of the phrase.
De Blasio, fresh off a combative but noteworthy performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, appropriated one of Guevara’s most famous lines as he urged largely immigrant workers at Miami International Airport to unionize in protest of poor conditions and wages.
“The eyes of the world are on this airport, the eyes of the world are on Miami-Dade,” de Blasio told the workers, before ending with, “Hasta la victoria, siempre.”
The phrase translates to “Ever on to victory!” and was a mantra for Guevara, one of Fidel Castro’s top lieutenants.
That did not sit well in Miami, a hub for anti-Castro Cuban exiles.
Local politicians, including Florida state Sen. Jose Javier Rodríguez, called on Hizzoner to apologize.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also ripped de Blasio for the bone headed choice of phrase.
“Bill DeBlasio went to a rally at the #Miami airport today & ended his speech by quoting from the murderous Che Guevara’s farewell letter to Fidel Castro,” Rubio wrote on Twitter.
De Blasio claimed he was not aware the slogan was pegged to Guevara.
“I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way,” he tweeted.
“I certainly apologize for not understanding that history. I only meant it as a literal message to the striking airport workers that I believed they would be victorious in their strike.”
De Blasio, who honeymooned in Havana and traveled to Nicaragua in 1988 to support the Sandinistas, also appeared on CNN where he claimed ignorance.
“That’s an honest mistake and I do apologize for it,” he told Wolf Blitzer, who had asked where he picked up the phrase.
“I literally meant it as a Spanish phrase, you know, ‘that these folks were going to be victorious’, ‘hang onto victory’, that kind of thing.”
Earlier on Thursday, de Blasio fired a broadside at front-runner Joe Biden, asserting that he was the better candidate to take on President Trump because the ex-veep was “out of touch” with progressive Democrats.
“I respect him, but he’s out of touch with today’s Democratic party,” the mayor told MSNBC, the morning after the first Democratic primary debate in Miami.
“It has nothing to do with age,” he responded when asked if he meant that the 76-year-old, longtime lawmaker was too old for the pressure-packed White House gig.