This clip has been making the rounds. Watch it if you must. But note that I'm not intent on making unkind jokes.
Here's how I transcribed the clip--leaving out all the 'um's 'er's and 'uh's.
Aimee Teegarden: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?
Lauren Caitlin Upton: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education--like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere--like such as--and I believe that they should (our education over here in the us) should help the U.S....or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our...
Issue #1: Its disturbing to see the questioner given a name while Lauren Caitlin Upton is simply "South Carolina." She has an identity other than her home state. This is just one of the problems I have with pageants.
Issue #2: Or rather the non-issue here is intelligence. This is probably all about nerves and a temporary collapse in fluency. I've been there. We've all been there. Some of these disfluencies are clearly more than a simple stammer--there's evidence of extreme emotion affecting her speech. Repeating "like such as" is the type of halt that comes from a profound confusion regarding such simple phrases as "such as" and "like so" or "like such." Probably temporary.
My disfluencies are commonly the repetition of a frozen murmur like "and uh..." or "but uh..." or "and so..." The phrases usually end in a meaningless extension. The mumbly uhhh... or a word like "so" that often leads into an unstated implication. Something like "I'm...uh...really hungry. Uh...so..." But she ends the phrase "like such as" with a clear sense of the completed thought. Just because it's fresh in her memory it becomes her tie-over phrase even tho it doesn't work.
Her confusion reminds me of the odd responses I've often uttered when nervous and confused and anxiously anticipating the importance of a specific appropriate response. Many many years ago I took a phone call from a pretty young lady and I expected she was going to say she missed me. She opened with "How are you?" and I responded with "Good. Me too!" She said "What?" and I shot back with "Yeah...I know!"
With enough charity of interpretation her thoughts might reasonably be paraphrased as "The educational system here in the US has gaps just like those that exist in other countries. Remedying these gaps would help not only the US but would allow us in turn to help other countries."
Say what you will about about clichés and simplistic arguments. But if she had used those words to express the same ideas no one would be saying anything about Lauren's intelligence.