A Mexican mayoral candidate has inadvertently become the class clown on social media after his bungled attempt to campaign as an Ivy League golden boy.
National Action Party (PAN) candidate Iván Garza, who's running for mayor of the northern city of Monterrey, has been flaunting his "Harvard education" on the campaign trail.
Garza's campaign spot on TV claims, “his capacity led him to study at the University of Comillas in Spain and Harvard University in the United States.”
But here’s the rub: Garza's entire Harvard education was a $9,500 one-week executive seminar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, which gave him just enough time in Cambridge to hit the university bookstore.
The self-styled "Harvard man," who apparently lettered in gift-shop purchasing, has blamed the ruling PRI for allegedly orchestrating a social media war against him after a flurry of memes made their way around the Internet, along with the hashtag #FuiCincoMinutosAHarvard or "I went to Harvard for 5 minutes."
I went 5 minutes to Harvard, and now I’m a petrochemical engineer.
Iván Garza in Harvard: expectation vs. reality
Garza said he's sorry for embellishing his record, but insists he never meant to mislead anyone with his Crimson gear.
“I offered an apology, although I never lied or deceived,” Garza told Radio Formula. “It’s part of my academic preparation, going and taking a course in Harvard. I published this in my webpage on March 6 and we have included this in my career curriculum.”
Neither Garza’s campaign nor the JFK School of Government responded to Fusion’s request for comment.
Last January, Garza posted on his Facebook page that he was attending a Harvard program titled, “Meeting the Challenges of Mexico’s Future: Strategies for Leadership and Performance.” The candidate added, “Upon concluding my participation, I’ll come back to Monterrey with new skills and abilities to continue pushing Monterrey forward.”
In his campaign spot, Garza also says he attended Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid, Spain but again failed to mention that his time there was limited to a brief executive course.