Patricia Minnis, wife of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, said yesterday that she was “appalled” by the response of some media houses and journalists to MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel’s verbal blunder during her contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly last week.
“We all live in glass houses and so we shouldn’t throw stones,” Minnis said after Queen’s College’s Lighthouse celebration.
While Emmanuel seemed to struggle throughout her speech on Thursday, the MP, who chairs the Education Loan Authority (ELA), stumbled repeatedly when attempting to enunciate the figure of $7.41 million, which represented loans awarded by the ELA in Grand Bahama.
A video of the blunder went viral on social media, drawing criticisms from all over the country, with many calling the incident embarrassing and questioning Emmanuel’s ability to properly represent her constituents in Parliament.
“The backlash that came from media houses, I found unbelievable,” Minnis said.
“…Sometimes we get nervous and we can’t get out our words and so for people who are in the forefront, who are in media houses, to have something negative to say, I think that’s what I found appalling. And I say to them that their day is going to come.”
Several ministers came to Emmanuel’s defense after social media exploded with criticisms and jokes in reaction to her mistake. Among them were Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands and Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd.
Speaking to the matter earlier this week, Emmanuel said that while she was disappointed by the public reaction, she will continue to do her best to represent her constituents.
Minnis said that she is confident that the MP will take the baklash in stride.
“It takes courage just to run in this Parliament or to put your self out,” Minnis said.
“To be a leader, it means putting yourself out, and when you put yourself out you expect some criticism. So I’m certain she will survive this and do well.”
The slip-up wasn’t Emmanuel’s first controversy. Last year, she faced backlash over comments she made in the House of Assembly about domestic abuse.
She suggested that there might be circumstances where it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife. She later issued an apology.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish