‘What’s a Uyghur?’ – Miami Mayor Suarez Roasted for Flubbing China Question

Miami Mayor and GOP presidential candidate Francis Suarez admitted he fumbled an interview question when he failed to recognize what the Uyghurs are — the Muslim ethnic minority currently being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. Suarez, who launched his bid earlier this month, appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show on Tuesday when the radio host asked him, “Will you be talking about the Uyghurs in your campaign?”

“What the what?” Suarez replied.

“The Uyghurs,” Hewitt responded.

“What’s a Uyghur?” Suarez asked further.

Hewitt quickly moved on from the question but seemed to chide the candidate for not being able to answer the question, telling him, “You’ve got to get smart on that.”

At the end of the interview, the pair returned to the topic, with Suarez insisting that he would do his “homework” on the subject before asking,

“What did you call it? A Weeble?”

“The Uyghurs. You really need to know about the Uyghurs, mayor,” Hewitt told Suarez. “You’ve got to talk about it every day, okay?”

“I will talk about; I will search Uyghurs,” the Miami Mayor responded. “I’m a good learner; I’m a fast learner.”

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After the interview, Hewitt wrote on Twitter that Suarez “was pretty good for a first conversation on air about national security,”

“…except for the huge blind spot on the Uyghurs. ‘What’s a Uyghur?’ is not where I expect people running for president to say when asked about the ongoing genocide in China.”

Hours later, Suarez publicly responded to the flub, insisting that he was familiar with the plight of the Uyghurs but that he did not recognize Hewitt’s pronunciation.

“Of course, I am well aware of the suffering of the Uyghurs in China. They are being enslaved because of their faith. China has a deplorable record on human rights and all people of faith suffer there. I didn’t recognize the pronunciation my friend Hugh Hewitt used. That’s on me.”

The Uyghurs — a primarily Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northern China — have faced brutal human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government in recent years. The country’s communist regime is accused of detaining over one million Uyghurs in concentration camps throughout the region as part of an ongoing genocide.

China has denied allegations of human rights abuses.

“Classic line and delivery: ‘Gotta get smart on that.’ Think I’ll fold that into my management lingo…” ~ Sam Nelson [@slnelson77] on Twitter

After Suarez’s interview, fellow GOP presidential candidate and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley wrote that “Communist China is the greatest threat to American security and prosperity, by far,” and demanded a “fundamental shift in our policies.”

Suarez was roasted online after the interview, with one commenter referring to him as “The Jeopardy! Candidate.”

“What’s a Suarez, Alex,” another commenter jokingly replied.

“Suarez’ campaign just crashed and burned.” ~ New Yorker [@ThomB01]

Other listeners compared the viral moment to a 2016 interview with then-Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who was asked to weigh in on fighting in Aleppo, Syria, where the country’s ongoing civil war had rocked.

“What is Aleppo?” Johnson had replied to interviewer Joe Scarborough.

“Suarez just had his Gary Johnson moment,” a Twitter user commented on recent events.

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