Beto O’Rourke’s Spanish debate answers blasted as ‘pandering’ by late night hosts
Beto O’Rourke at one point believed that he was “born” to run for President.
The former Texas state legislator, born Robert Francis O’Rourke, has been running an unconventional series of campaigns over the course of the last two years. In a bid to win over youth voters during his failed contest against Ted Cruz for a Senate seat on Capitol Hill, Beto took to appearing in concocted “viral” videos depicting the politician skateboarding in a Whataburger parking lot. When that stunt failed to boost him in the polls, he then skateboarded onto the stage during a later appearance on that campaign.
Now, eyeing a federal electorate in his bid for the presidency, O’Rourke is playing up his coziness with the hispanic community not only leaning into his nickname “Beto”, (a Spanish derivative of “Robert” or “Roberto”), but by also answering debate questions last night in Spanish.
Late night television hosts took the opportunity to blast O’Rourke for the stunt.
Of O’Rourke’s surprise use of Spanish, Comedy Central’s Daily Show host Trevor Noah joked: “He knows there’s one way to spice up a bland affair!”
“This guy was so fluent, I bet half of America thought they flipped to Univision by mistake,” Noah then quipped, motioning the clicking of the remote.
Over on CBS’s The Late Show, funnyman Stephen Colbert called O’Rourke’s performance a “linguistic surprise” before expressing confusion over the former lawmaker’s thinking by not sticking to only English. “[I’m] not entirely sure why he felt he had to do that,” Colbert said to laughter from the audience. “He’s either trying to lock up the Hispanic vote or he’s running for embarrassing dad at a Mexican restaurant.”
“Here’s the crazy thing, was when Beto was habla-ing the Espanol, In the close-captioning, it just said,” speaking foreign language,” the CBS host added. He then joked the candidate’s Spanish remarks to English viewers, “Really got through, really penetrated.”
Colbert was similarly mimicked by fellow late night host Jimmy Fallon.
NBC’s Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon got his digs in too, joking that the reaction of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to O’Rourke was downright hilarious and later busted into an impression of longshot candidate New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking in phonetic Spanish to avoid being upstaged by the Texas Democrat.
O’Rourke has been steadily falling in the polls, and this “hispandering” certainly doesn’t look like it will help him make up any ground.
In short: Adios, Beto.
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