Watch: Florida Gov. Rick Scott makes elephant-sized gaffe in Spain
During a meeting, Scott joked about King Juan Carlos I’s ill-fated African hunting trip.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) made an elephant-sized gaffe this week while on a trade mission to Spain.
During a meeting with Spain’s King Juan Carlos I, Scott brought up the king’s elephant hunting trip to Africa, on which he fractured his hip. The trip doubled as a huge political embarrassment for the king, drawing fire for its extravagance during a time of 25 percent unemployment and criticism from animal rights activists.
But that didn’t stop Scott from discussing it ad nauseum.
Right as he walked into Juan Carlos’ office, Scott blurted out: “I’ve ridden elephants, I’ve never tried to shoot one.”
The king seemed surprised by Scott’s choice of topic; the hunt became such a huge political scandal in Spain that Juan Carlos took the extraordinary step of apologizing to his subjects for the trip, an unprecedented step for a Spanish monarch.
But Scott continued on to share his own experience traveling in Botswana, the country where Juan Carlos traveled on his hunt.
“We were in Botswana and we were in the Jeep, and the elephant started chasing the Jeep,” Scott said. “My wife was in the back part of the Jeep and she wanted to get out into the front of the Jeep.”
The kicker came from Scott’s wife, Annette, who was standing by his side.
“I needed you in the Jeep with me,” she said.
Scott’s gaffe provided endless fodder for Spanish media. It was a big hit on the Spanish news-satire program, “El Intermedio,” which enjoyed a good chuckle over the incident on air.
Scott’s gaffe wasn’t the first time a Florida governor made a verbal flub in Spain. Jeb Bush referred to the nation as a “republic” in a 2003 speech in Madrid. Spain is a constitutional monarchy.