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GOP Candidate Suarez Stumbles On Uyghur Issue, Risks Campaign Hurdle

Miami Mayor's lack of knowledge about persecuted minority raises concerns in crowded Republican primary field

GOP presidential candidate and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez appeared confused when questioned if he would raise the issue of Uyghurs being targeted by Xi Jinping’s government in his campaign.

Suarez, who criticized the Joe Biden administration’s China Policy during an interview with a conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, faltered when asked about the Uyghurs.

“The Penultimate question, Mayor: Will you be talking about the Uyghurs in your campaign?” said Hewit the talk show host. 

“The what?” said Suarez.

“The Uyghur,” Hewitt repeated.

“What’s a Uyghur?” Suarez said.

“Okay, we’ll come back to that,” said Hewitt and added, “You’ve got to get smart on that.”

“You gave me homework, Hugh,” said Suarez. “I’ll look at what a — what’d you call it, a Weeble?”

Jacob Rubashkin on Twitter posted the audio of Suarez confused about whom the Uyghurs are (a persecuted minority in China) and later jokingly calling them the “Weebles” while Hewitt does everything he can to signal to the Mayor that he’s messing up big time.

People hold up flags and signs during a protest in Washington, DC on February 5, 2023, marking the 26th anniversary of the 1997 Uygur/ Turkic Ghulja massacre in Ghulja City in China. GOP 2024 Republican Candidate Suarez recently admitted to lack of knowledge about the Uyghur community during an interview. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

This came minutes after the mayor criticized the Biden administration for supposedly failing to develop a strategy to stand up to an “increasingly hostile” Beijing. He said members of the Biden administration “have very little, if any, practical understanding of the real world” while criticizing Antony Blinken’s recent trip to China. 

“I didn’t recognize the pronunciation” of Uyghur that Hewitt used during the interview,”said Suarez hours later.

Suarez launched his campaign for the Republican nomination for President earlier this month. His recent admission of lack of knowledge about the Uyghur community during an interview with Hewitt may come as a hurdle for the long shot candidate in the crowded Republican primary field for the presidential nomination. 

Suarez said he “will search Uyghurs.”

“I’m a good learner; I’m a fast learner,” said Suarez. 

© 2023 Zenger Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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