Last night at the Republican Debate in South Carolina, Texas senator Ted Cruz spoke in Spanish after Florida senator Marco Rubio said this about Cruz, “I don’t know how [Cruz] knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t speak Spanish.”
It was a surreal moment, especially considering that: 1) this happened as both Cuban American senators were in the middle of an immigration exchange to determine which son of Cuban was the most hawkish on the issue; 2) the perception that going on Univision to speak Spanish is suddenly seen as akin to being a traitor and 3) Cruz once said that Spanish speakers live in a “language ghetto,” but now he wants their votes for President.
However, Rubio’s words didn’t ring true. Cruz does speak Spanish, even though, as he admits in this 2012 FOX news clip when he was running for senator in Texas, his Spanish was “lousy.”
Well, it’s the silly season of politics. I don’t think we should do a debate in Spanish. Texans speak English. If we were in Mexico, if we were in Cuba, we’d do the debate in Spanish. Here in Texas, we should do it in English.
Cruz then adds:
Oh yeah, my Spanish is lousy. Let’s be very clear: the debate would be much much better in English.
At least Cruz admits it, since what he said last night in South Carolina had its clunky moments. For example, Cruz said “díselo” (“you tell him”), when all he had to say was “dilo” (“say it”) or “diles” (“tell them”).