2020 Candidates Speak Spanish at 1st Democratic Debate

Estados Unidos

Hablar un poco de español, of course

Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 40 million Americans speak the universal romance language at their household. So, what is a presidential candidate to do when presented with the opportunity to address the entire nation, including many Spanish-speaking voters, via a televised debate?

In his first comment on the first night of the first Democratic primary debate, Beto O’Rourke offered a bilingual answer to a question on the economy from moderator Savannah Guthrie. In response, Senator Cory Booker gave the audience its first meme of the debate cycle, staring at the former Texas congressman as if showing off his serviceable Spanish broke the evening’s rules of engagement. Possibly it was just a moment of dread, as Booker realized he would have to break out his study-abroad Spanish, doing so with a little tentativeness.

Julián Castro also threw in an “adios” in his closing statement, although he mostly stuck with English. (In an interview with New York’s Gabriel Debenedetti, Castro discussed how he and his brother, Representative Joaquin Castro, aren’t “completely fluent” and how that might be a misconception about how the language is used now.)

Before the debate was over, candidates began to crack jokes at the strategic employment of a second language, as everyone else began to wonder about what the polyglot candidate, Pete Buttigieg, will do tomorrow night. And after the debate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave her thoughts on the candidates’ sometimes “humorous” Spanglish. The bumpy roll-out probably won’t kill this trend. With Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden leading in recognition among Hispanic voters in a recent Univision poll, Spanish-speaking candidates like O’Rourke, Booker, and Kamala Harris will most likely continue to pitch to voters in the language.


06/27/2019 3:53 AMupdated: 06/27/2019 1:59 PM
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  • Joe Y.
    06/27/2019 04:01

    Lol. Only Brut would praise this after he didn’t answer the question and just started going off in Spanish. Hilarious to watch liberals. You guys are gonna lose so so bad in 2020. We are gonna keep the Senate, keep the Presidency, and win the House. It’s gonna be historic.

  • Marisol S.
    06/27/2019 04:05

    Love it

  • Robin J.
    06/27/2019 04:36

    Why? Beto is just using the Spanish folk. When has he ever did anything for Spanish people outside if politics?

  • Joe B.
    06/27/2019 04:39

    Vote Trump

  • Shazia F.
    06/27/2019 04:40


  • David M.
    06/27/2019 04:43

    En la constitución está establecida... No hay nada nuevo bajo el sol... Hay que portarse... cada representante... Con la altura debida y serán bien vistos... Hay que hacerlos crecer en su dignidad... Porque? Porque Dios los premiará... rezen y amen desprendidamente...

  • Guadalupe J.
    06/27/2019 04:56

    An indigenous language, all their own.

  • Dorothy R.
    06/27/2019 05:01

    speaka da english, pour favor

  • Dirlene S.
    06/27/2019 05:42

    Bernie Sanders 2020 ❤️

  • Dirlene S.
    06/27/2019 05:44

    They all want the Latino vote but my vote is for Bernie Sanders. ❤️

  • Jocelyn B.
    06/27/2019 06:46


  • Erik v.
    06/27/2019 08:45

    Pandering. Learn Spanish, use it, absolutely. But this isn’t a direct show of care for Hispanic people. It’s to win their vote.

  • Andrew L.
    06/27/2019 10:04

    I thought that this was terrible. It is clear the democrats only care about immigration because that is who the future of their party is. Didn't you hear them say they wanted to make immigrants voting citizens as fast as possible. Forgot making illegal immigrants adhere to the law. I miss a court date I get a bench warrant and the police in my face. Immigrants skip court dates and it's all good. Dems yell down with ICE. Sanctuary cities. It's crazy.

  • Debi A.
    06/27/2019 11:16

    what the hell are these idiots doing to america? OUR LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH!!!! WTF!

  • Kathleen S.
    06/27/2019 11:54

    We need to encourage illegals to stay in their country and work to make their own government better rather than having them plow through our borders expecting free medical, schooling, housing and financial assistance.

  • Aída M.
    06/27/2019 12:13

    *laughs in Mexican*

  • Fernanda S.
    06/27/2019 12:18

    Trump 2020🇱🇷🇱🇷🇱🇷🇱🇷

  • Fernanda S.
    06/27/2019 12:19

    President Trump is the best President ever!

  • David R.
    06/27/2019 12:34

    Sooo what country does he want to be president of ? If it's Mexico, then go there, if it's the U.S. then speak English

  • Molly A.
    06/27/2019 13:18

    Joker hit the stage.