Election hopeful Rajoy admits TV debate "could have been better"

5th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy admitted Tuesday that his performance could have been better during the second and final televised debate with Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero on Monday night.

5 March 2008

MADRID - Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy admitted Tuesday that his performance could have been better during the second and final televised debate with Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero on Monday night.

Speaking on Onda Cero radio station, Rajoy said he should have spent less time talking about the Madrid train bombings on 11 March 2004 and the war in Iraq, and more time pressing the prime minister on the fight against ETA.

"I should have insisted more that Zapatero ask for forgiveness for lying to Congress and the Spanish people during these four years," Rajoy said.

According to polls taken after the debate, a majority of viewers said they believe Zapatero had won and that he had performed better than during the previous debate a week ago. Aides said Zapatero was content after the debate and watched a recording of it at his residence until around 3am yesterday morning.

The tense televised debates ahead of Sunday's general election were the first to be held between an incumbent prime minister and opposition leader in Spain in 15 years, and many analysts believe they have helped increase voter interest in the election.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / ANGELES ESPINOSA 2008]

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