Argentina had yet another historic night yesterday: after the first-ever presidential debate, we were witness to the first-ever runoff presidential debate. The two men competing to become President of Argentina after this Sunday’s runoff met for the first time in the context of a public debate. In the 75 minutes that followed, the country looked on as many questions, more insults and no smiles were exchanged between Victory Front’s (FpV) Daniel Scioli and Cambiemos’ Mauricio Macri.
Here are The Bubble’s top five moments of the event:
Video: The full debate
Macri’s Opening Burn
We all joked about it, but Macri actually did start off by saying “Like at the last debate… oh wait, you weren’t there.” Well, not exactly in those words, but almost:
“Daniel, some weeks ago we had a debate here and I felt that I learned from the exchange of policies from Sergio, Margarita, Nicolás and Adolfo… And since I have a commitment to democracy, I’m here despite the fact that you didn’t come to the last debate, because I believe that we all have to collaborate in consolidating our democracy. So I hope this will be a constructive debate.”
Pretty sassy for an opening statement, right?
Scioli Mopping The Floor With Macri
In criticizing Macri’s alleged lack of investment and willpower in the administration of the Metropolitan Police Force, Scioli blurted out the following:
“And if you still haven’t been able to solve the issue of trapitos, do you really think people will believe that you can solve the drug trafficking problem?”
Trapitos, from the word trapo meaning “cleaning rag,” are rag-waving men who offer to help you park your car on the street. Not only is parking made that much more awkward, but they charge money for the service of “looking after your car” until your return, lest you want to find your vehicle scratched or robbed by a “random criminal.” Fun times.
Anyway, Scioli basically said, “If you can’t solve that, there’s no way you can handle drug trafficking.” It was the first real stab at Macri by Scioli and was definitely a highlight. The Internet agrees:
3. Macri’s Telenovela Moment
“Daniel… what have you become? Or what have they turned you into? You’re like a 6,7,8 panelist, telling lies that we’ve been hearing for years.”
(6,7,8 is a television show run by the government-backed TV Pública, often accused of being very biased towards the current administration.)
I mean, we know that they used to be friends, but come on: this was a bit much for what was supposed to be a serious presidential debate. In next week’s “Ballotage” episode maybe Scioli runs off with Macri’s wife while his own partner, Karina Rabolini turns out to be Macri’s long-lost twin sister just as Macri himself loses his memory and doesn’t vote on Sunday. And goes blind.
4. And None For Daniel Scioli
When the debate finished, Scioli and Macri’s wives came on stage. While Macri and Juliana Awada shared a passionate kiss, Scioli looked on for a microsecond too long before greeting his wife Karina Rabolini. Social media, of course, just ran with it. #ScioliMirandoBesos (“Scioli watching kisses”) went viral, with many photoshopped comparisons.
5. The Big No Show: Answers
Many subjects made it onto the stage last night, but real answers remained elusive throughout. Seriously, none. Drug trafficking, infant mortality, the dollar exchange rate… all were apparently just cues for the other to attack the one asking. Just like in the preceding campaign, the main focus was the opponent, not the policies or the potential voter. Overall, it was disappointing, although there is a definite silver lining: the establishment of the debate itself as a part of the electoral process.