|Illiterate? - The PRI candidate for President of Mexico could not name any book he has read.|
Mexico's leading presidential contender was unable to name three books that had influenced him
The former Mexico State Governor Enrique Pena Nieto holds a comfortable lead in opinion polls for Mexico's July 1 presidential election, but his appearance was reminiscent of the campaign-denting moment that Texas Gov. Rick Perry suffered at a Republican debate in November. The GOP hopeful he couldn't remember one of the three government agencies he pledged to eliminate if he were president and finally said, "Oops!"
The floundering by Pena Nieto, who is married to a television actress, fed into the images critics have tried to spin around him as telegenic but hollow reports the UK Telegraph.
"I have read a number of books, starting with novels, that I particularly liked. I'd have a hard time recalling the titles of the books," Mr Pena Nieto said during a question-and-answer session at a book fair in Guadalajara during the weekend.
|These rectangular items filled with small print will never be found in a politician's home.|
Pena Nieto said that as an adolescent, he had been influenced by the Bible, and had read "parts of" it.
He then rambled on and on, tossing out confused title names, asking for help in recalling the names of authors and sometimes mismatching the two.
He said he liked "La Silla del Aguila, a novel whose title roughly translates as "The Presidential Chair." But he said it was written by historian Enrique Krauze, one of Mexico's most famous historians. It was actually written by Carlos Fuentes, the country's most famous novelist.
That was about as close as the former governor came to correctly identifying a book he has read in the past decade.
"The truth is that when I read books, the titles don't really sink in," he said after several minutes.
Pena Nieto is the leading hope of the former ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to return to the presidency it held for 71 years without interruption before losing the 2000 elections to conservative Vicente Fox.
Pena Nieto could not. He looked to his aides for help and drew laughter from the audience, saying at least twice "I can't remember the title."
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