President Mauricio Macri has been criticised after delivering an extraordinary sexist remark, delivered when attempting to criticise the economic inheritance he received from the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration when taking office in 2015.
In an interview with a radio station in Pergamino, where he is due to hold his latest '#SíSePuede' campaign rally later today, the president criticised the Kirchnerite administrations that led Argentina prior to his own government taking office, by comparing their economic policy to a wife gone crazy with their husband's credit card.
"Unfortunately, the former Kirchnerite government squandered the reserves of the Central Bank, savings and reserves of gas and oil, did as populism: [they] mortgaged the future to live the present. And then, when it ends, it ends," the president said in comments reported by the A24 news channel, seeking to link his rival in the October 27 presidential election, Alberto Fernández, to the policies adopted by his running-mate, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, during her time in office.
“As I said in [Sunday's presidential] debate, a few months ago the candidate [Alberto Fernández] recognised that Kirchnerismo destroyed the economy, closed it.”
"It is as if you gave the [credit] card of the administration to your wife, she spends and spends," he added. "And one day they come to mortgage your house."
The pushback online in the immediate aftermath was even enough to spark a reaction from the former president herself, who tweeted out her indignation this afternoon, accusing the head of state of sexist behaviour.
Quoting a report on the story from A24 inside her own tweet, Fernández de Kirchner wrote on Twitter: "Did you see? I told them he was a machirulo."
Machirulo is a slang word in local Spanish, a neologism with a derogatory meaning, that combines the words "machista" and "chulo" (slang for "pimp").
The Fundación del Español Urgente describes the word as definiing a "macho man ... associated with those who show that condition," although in the LGBT community, it can also be used derogatory for individuals that exhibit strongly male chauvinist behaviour.
The former president has previous with the word – she branded Macri a "machirulo" back in 2018, after a row over his approach to removing subsidies for public utilities prompted the president to imply she was a bit mad. The Juntos por el Cambio leader responded at the time to the insult by saying the term was "quite strange."
This is not the first time Macri has ran into trouble for making chauvinistic remarks either. The most famous incident came in 2014, he famously told a radio station in Tierra del Fuego that "all women like cat-calls," a reference to so-called compliments shouted at women in the street.
"Even though you'll say something rude, like 'What a cute ass you have'… it's all good," he declared. He went on later in the interview to imply that he had been close to doing it himself. "If I see a beautiful woman today … I say, 'What a beauty," he said.
The president, who was then running for head of state, later tweeted out his apologies, saying that "one of my daughters called me and challenged me."