It’s quite a neat trick to take a saying out of someone’s speech and turn it back into a literal meaning. If you can make political capital out of this manoeuvre, even better, and that is exactly what the PSOE candidate Rubalcaba did last Sunday with a speech made by PP’s candidate Rajoy on Saturday.
Rajoy said he was going to run the Spanish economy “como Dios manda” – as God commands. This phrase is actually used rather commonly when people want to make sure things are done in the right way, the way they have always been done, according to common sense and so on. No doubt Rajoy used the expression to sound homely and down to earth. How appropriate it is as part of a speech of economic policy is another matter, and Rubalcaba cleverly used this against him, also making use of the two meanings of “mandar” – to command and to send. His reply was “¡como tengamos que esperar a que Dios nos mande algunas indicaciones económicas, vamos listos!” This loosely translates as “if we’ve got to wait for God to send us some economic instructions, we’ve had it!”