We’ve seen all sorts of outbursts in the 2016 GOP primary, but none of them had been en español until Saturday night in South Carolina.
The Republican answer to the Democrats’s fixation on the etymology of the word “progressive” was a piqued exchange between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio over the definition of “amnesty.” At first, Cruz and Rubio, sons of Cuban immigrants both, stuck to the usual bickering about who proposed which amendment during the 2013 fight to pass (or block) comprehensive immigration reform—which, as Jeb Bush later pointed out, no one really cares about.
Then Cruz attempted a cheap shot, bringing up an interview Rubio on Univision (wink wink)—in Spanish, no less. Rubio proceeded to respond in kind, saying, “I don’t know how he knows what I said because he doesn’t speak Spanish.” And that brought about the first—and probably last—flurry of non-English we’ve gotten in the most outwardly nativist primary campaign in recent memory.
Translation from the original (shoddy) Spanish: “Why don’t you say it now, in Spanish?”