The presidential debate in memes: high and lowlights from Sunday’s Showdown

The candidates squared off on a range of topics from the economy to democratic coexistence, and social media made a night of it

Argentina’s five presidential candidates — Myriam Bregman (Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores, FIT), Patricia Bullrich (Juntos por el Cambio, JxC), Segio Massa (Unión por la Patria, UxP), Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA), Juan Schiaretti (Hacemos por Nuestro Pais, HNP) — squared off in Santiago del Estero on Sunday for the first of two presidential debates. Topics included the economy, education, human rights, and democratic coexistence.  

The event drew huge ratings, peaking at 42 points during its second hour across multiple networks. Fortunately, the Internet was watching as well, and it did not disappoint with its memes and viral jokes.  

Here are a few of our favorites — and a brief explanation of what they’re all about for those unfamiliar with the debate rules or the candidates themselves. 

That poor reply button

Each participant had five 45-second opportunities to counter the claims and assertions of the other candidates. Unfortunately, everyone seemed to burn through theirs in the economy portion of the proceedings, making things extremely awkward during the second hour of the debate, as one X user observed. 

Milei the pussy cat

It’s a common refrain of Milei’s that he did not come to lead lambs but to awaken his fellow lions. Left-wing candidate Myriam Bregman was quick to pull his tail, arguing that the self-styled anti-caste crusader has cozied up to union leader Luis Barrionuevo, and that he’s little more than a gatito mimoso (cuddly pussy cat) for the country’s economic elite. 

Milei the pedant

Milei spent a decent portion of the evening dismissing his fellow candidates’ proposals as “fallacies” and treating criticism of his own as “ad hominem” or “ad populum” attacks. The far-right candidate has made a habit of employing this tedious language with the media and on the campaign trail.

Schiaretti wants to tell you about a place called Córdoba

If Schiaretti were running for president of his home province, he’d have this thing in the bag. The governor used his time on the national stage on Sunday to sing the praises of Córdoba, again and again and again. And again. Time will tell if it’s a winning strategy or an effective means of preventing Milei from running up his vote totals, but it certainly caught the attention of users on X (formerly Twitter) last night.

Bullrich glitches out

The JxC candidate seems to be going viral for all the wrong reasons these days. Several weeks ago, her tortuous answer to a question from television journalist Diego Sehinkman about her vision for Argentina prompted the host to reply, befuddled, “no entiendo” (“I don’t understand”). Last night, she struggled to articulate her economic plan, and social media had a field day.

The second debate, focusing on security, labor, human development, housing, and the environment, will be held on Sunday, October 8, in Buenos Aires. We know that social media will be providing a running commentary of its own.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald