It has now become a Republican debate ritual: an immigration question gets asked and eventually the two senators of Cuban descent, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, go after each other. It has already happened happened several times, but last night in South Carolina, the latest exchange involved the accusation from Rubio that Cruz can’t speak Spanish. In response, what did Cruz do? He spoke Spanish.
RUBIO: “First of all, I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t speak Spanish. Second of all…”
CRUZ: “Marco, si quiere, díselo ahora, ahora mismo en español, si quieres.” (Loosely translated, even with incorrect grammatical constructions and syntax: “Marco, if you like, tell it to him now, right now in Spanish, if you like.”)
Cruz’s Spanish-language moment has been making the rounds on social media, catching many by surprise, considering that in 2012, during his campaign for Texas senator, Cruz said that Spanish speakers live in a “language ghetto”. In addition, even though Rubio accused Cruz of not knowing how to speak Spanish, Cruz had previously admitted that his “Spanish is lousy.”
You can watch the entire immigration portion of the debate below.