Courting Latino Voters, Biden Plays Hit Song ‘Despacito’ (It Means ‘Slowly’)

By Patrick Goodenough | September 16, 2020 | 4:32am EDT
Joe Biden plays music from his phone before addressing a Hispanic Heritage Month campaign event in Kissimmee, Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
Joe Biden plays music from his phone before addressing a Hispanic Heritage Month campaign event in Kissimmee, Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden prefaced his remarks at a Hispanic Heritage Month campaign event in Florida on Tuesday night by playing an excerpt on his phone of the 2017 Spanish-language hit song “Despacito,” grinning and swaying to be beat as he did so.

After about 15 seconds he turned it down, and quipped, “I’ll tell you what, if I had the talent of any one of these people, I’d be – I’d be elected president by acclamation.”

“These people” was apparently a reference to the three Hispanic celebrities who preceded him at the podium in Kissimmee, Florida -- actress and activist Eva Longoria, singer Ricky Martin, and Luis Fonsi, the Puerto Rican-American singer-songwriter whose hugely successful song Biden featured in his opening.

 

Before introducing Biden, Fonsi in his remarks accused President Trump of “trying to divide us.”

“One song, en español, broke all the barriers across cultures, languages and ages,” Fonsi said. “Despacito proved to me that in this country we will never be defined by our differences.”

Luis Fonsi performs ‘Despacito’ during the 60th annual Grammy Awards show in January 2018. (Photo by Timothy A.Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
Luis Fonsi performs ‘Despacito’ during the 60th annual Grammy Awards show in January 2018. (Photo by Timothy A.Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

“Nothing less than the future of our country is on the ballot in November, and we cannot let nuestros familias down,” Fonsi added.

Twitter erupted after Biden’s opening, with words like “cringe” and “pandering” featuring prominently.

Trump campaign advisor Mercedes Schlapp was among many who drew attention to the meaning of the song’s title.

“Does @JoeBiden realize that Despacito means ‘slowly’? Fits well with Slow Joe,’ she tweeted.

“What is this all about?” tweeted President Trump, linking to a spoof video in which Biden seemed to be playing not Despacito but the hip hop protest song ‘F**k da Police” by N.W.A.

The original video of Despacito, by Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee, is the most-watched clip ever on YouTube, now exceeding 6.9 billion views.

Translated into English, the lyrics include lines such as:

I want to breathe in your neck slowly
Let me murmur things in your ear

(…)

Let me trespass your danger zones
Until I make you scream
And you forget your last name

The song – as the video makes fairly obvious – is about sex.

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