One of the most notable moments the Democratic debate Wednesday night was when some of the candidates stopped speaking English. Now liberals are joining conservatives in making a laughingstock out of them.
In the midst of the first night of debate, Democratic presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke suddenly switched to Spanish, which got quite the reaction from fellow candidate Cory Booker. You could tell from Booker’s expression that Beto had just beaten him to the punch.
Booker followed up by speaking in Spanish, too. Candidate Julian Castro showed off his language chops as well.
“I knew he had laid a gauntlet down. … Both [Castro] and I knew, as people who can speak Spanish, that now we were going to bring it as well,” Booker told CNN’s Anderson Cooper after the photo of him giving O’Rourke an intense side-eye went viral.
But late-night comedians Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and Trevor Noah mocked Booker and O’Rourke. The laughter was especially uproarious when Fallon likened Booker’s angry-sounding Spanish to “Arnold Schwarzenegger learning Rosetta Stone.”
Take a look:
The obvious move to pander to Spanish-speaking voters didn’t seem to be bringing in the accolades the three candidates expected on Thursday. NBC News warned that there’s evidence that many Latino voters aren’t impressed by that.
Liberal co-host Joy Behar of “The View” said she felt Beto was pandering too hard. Co-hosts Meghan McCain and Sunny Hostin both expressed that they wished there were subtitles during those moments for the majority English-speaking audience.
Conservative commentator Jason Howerton mocked that moment in the debate, along with the other moments when the candidates tried to awkwardly out-do each other with identity politics. In fact, Howerton’s paraphrased quotes from the debate were so bizarre that he posted a video prove to his followers that they had actually happened.
Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennett, Marianne Willamson, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang, and John Hickenlooper were selected for the second night of debate, according to NBC News.