Jill Biden apologizes after saying Latinos as unique as 'breakfast tacos'

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By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Jill Biden, whose attempt to compliment Latinos flopped on Monday when she said they were as unique as "breakfast tacos," issued an apology for the remarks that prompted criticism from across the political spectrum.

"The First Lady apologizes that her words conveyed anything but pure admiration and love for the Latino community," her spokesperson Michael LaRosa said on Tuesday.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists on Monday night said Biden and her speech writers ought to "better understand the complexities of our people."

"We are not tacos. Our heritage as Latinos ... should not be reduced to a stereotype," the association had said.

Speaking in San Antonio at the annual conference of UnidosUS on Monday, formerly known as the National Council of La Raza, Biden attempted to praise Mexican-American Raul Yzaguirre, who led the civil rights and advocacy organization for 30 years.

"Raul helped build this organization with the understanding that the diversity of this community, as distinct as the bodegas of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio, is your strength," Biden said.

Throughout New York City, convenience stores known as bodegas are often run by Dominican or Puerto Rican merchants. Biden mispronounced the word as "bogotas."

Conservatives on social media also jumped on the gaffe, saying there would be liberal outrage if a prominent Republican had made the same remarks.

"No wonder Hispanics are fleeing the Democratic Party!" U.S. Representative Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona, wrote on Twitter.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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