Jill Biden pulls a Joe with 'Si Se Puede' pronunciation gaffe on Cesar Chavez Day, Internet says 'Si Se what?'

'Jill Biden tried #Hispandering and ended up saying 'Yes, we father!' (Si se padre) instead of 'Yes, we can!' (Si se puede), wrote a user

                            Jill Biden pulls a Joe with 'Si Se Puede' pronunciation gaffe on Cesar Chavez Day, Internet says 'Si Se what?'
First Lady Jill Biden said Cesar Chavez is a big inspiration for President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

First Lady Jill Biden on Wednesday, March 31, appeared in Delano, California, to speak on the 94th birth anniversary of famous labor leader and Latin American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Biden said on the occasion “Si Se Puede” -- the Spanish for “Yes we can” and motto of the United Farm Workers (UFW) which was formed in the early 1960s through the merger of two workers’ rights bodies -- one of which was led by Chavez who passed away in 1993. Cesar Chavez Day was proclaimed by the former Barack Obama administration on March 31. 

However, it was the first lady’s less-than-perfect pronunciation of the term (she uttered it as “Si Se Pwadway”) that earned her a backlash on Twitter. 


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“Cesar Chavez understood that no matter the obstacles, when people come together united in a cause, anything is possible. Yes we can. Si se puede!” Biden, 69, said. The Fresno Bee daily said: “During her appearance Biden mispronounced the words “si se puede” incorrectly on the third occasion she mentioned the phrase — pronouncing it “si se pwad-way” when she was closing out her speech.”

"So say with me, Si Se Pwadway, the future is ours. Thank you," said an animated Biden with the 'black eagle' logo of the UFW in the background.


The Spanish phrase was popularized by Chavez and his UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta and was used by the group as a motto in the 1970s. It was later adopted by other activist bodies. Biden though pronounced it correctly on separate occasions in the same speech in which she also encouraged the farm workers to get inoculated. She said Chavez is also a big inspiration for President Joe Biden and that the latter started his career “inspired by the civil rights movement”. 

“As president, Joe is fighting for those who often go unseen,” the first lady said, adding: “He believes that our work must be guided by justice and humanity.” President Biden is also known for his frequent verbal goof-ups in the public. 

Biden was accompanied by California Governor Gavin Newsom and his first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom during her visit to Delano. The Forty Acres, where she spoke, is considered a national landmark and was the original home of the movement that led to the formation of the UFW. Biden said she visited the site to carry on Chavez’s spirit and show solidarity with the farmworkers who worked amid the pandemic challenges. 

Here are some of the reactions that Biden's botched Spanish attempt saw: