With his first response at the 2019 Democratic debates (part 1, that is), Beto O’Rourke set the tone for the night: We were in for some awkward uses of Spanish. Immediately, people took to Twitter to comment on everything from his abilities, to the mistakes he made, to whether this counted as Hispandering. Others noted that Senator Cory Booker had a strong reaction to Beto’s Spanish, only to find out that he would later employ the tactic himself.
In a live edition of The Late Show, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she “loved” that Spanish was used throughout the debate, but that it was a little off. “I thought it was humorous, sometimes, at times especially because of the content of the question,” she said, even joking that they used Spanish to avoid answering questions. “I thought it was a good gesture to the fact that we are a diverse country.”
AS AOC stated, the use of Spanish is significant. With the Latinx community making up a sizable portion of the voter pool, Spanish is an important tool. And since it aired on Telemundo – as well as NBC and MSNBC – and took place in Miami, many Spanish speakers surely tuned in. But it doesn’t mean that what went down on Wednesday wasn’t funny, so of course, there were lots of jokes. Check out some of the best reactions to the awkward Spanish that listeners heard throughout the night.