When asked what three books have most influenced him over the weekend, Mr. Peña Nieto, former Mexico state governor and the country’s leading presidential candidate, paused, stumbled over his words, and could only cite the Bible and one other title, for which he cited the wrong author. Making matters worse was the setting: Peña Nieto fumbled at the renowned Guadalajara International Book Fair.
“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,” Peña Nieto said at a Q & A. He cited “parts of” the Bible, and later a novel, but he incorrectly identified that book’s author.
The crowd laughed. But the gaffe quickly turned into ridicule, and many are wondering if he will suffer politically, as did Governor Rick Perry (R) of Texas in a US presidential debate earlier this year, when he could not name all of the three agencies he said he would eliminate as president.