Though she doesn’t speak with journalists or offer press conferences in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s president this week offered two press conferences in the U.S.
Both were with students: first at Georgetown University, then at Harvard.
The students asked many of the questions people in Argentina would like to ask:
How high is inflation? Why don’t you answer questions in Argentina? How is it that Argentina’s neighboring economies can grow quickly without experiencing high inflation or limits on the purchase of U.S. dollars? How did you become so wealthy since taking office?
Cristina Kirchner answered these questions and others. In doing so, she offered a controversial defense of her policies and economic statistics. She denied that inflation is high and said she “permanently” interacts with journalists in Argentina.
Immediately following her claim that she speaks with local journalists, the association of journalists that cover her from the Casa Rosada issued a statement rejecting this claim as false.
Her Georgetown conference went smoothly and Mrs. Kirchner adroitly answered questions the way she wanted to. The Harvard Q&A was different. She angered visibly toward the end and appeared to be particularly contemptuous of one student who said he felt “privileged” to be among the few people able to ask her a question.
U.S. history buffs will note the president’s gaffe at Georgetown. While there she said George Washington won the Civil War (which ended in 1865, when the South’s General Lee surrendered to the North’s General Grant). In fact, Washington won the Revolutionary War and died in 1799, more than half a century before the Civil War began.
For live, ongoing coverage of Mrs. Kirchner and Argentina, follow on me Twitter: @taos
The Q&A sessions are well worth watching. Enjoy.