How do you spell “pander” in Spanish? B-E-T-O.
Well, not really. But if you watched the first Democratic primary debate last night that’s what you’d think it was. Three candidates and one of the moderators broke out a little Español during the debate between the Media(D)’s pick (who was standing center stage and called on first,) Sen. Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren(D-MA), and the 9 Also-Ran candidates.
It was Robert Francis O’Rourke that got the Spanish ball a-rollin’. It was the highlight of the night for him and that is incredibly sad. Beto looked like a sad puppy on the stage last night. (But then, what else is new?)
Sen. Cory Booker(D-NJ) later spoke in what could be fairly described as Spanish with a Chinese accent to show that he also took Spanish 101, and the only actual Hispanic person on the stage, Obama’s former Housing Secretary, Julián Castro, slipped in a little Español into his closing remarks. At least Castro said something that most people could understand, “Hello, my name is…”
It was Beto’s dodging of the tax rate question by using Spanish that raised a few eyebrows, though.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Beto if he supported a 70% tax rate and he basically responded, “Necesito hablar contigo en español.” [I need to talk to you in Spanish.]
He completely dodged the question in both languages.
GUTHRIE: Some Democrats want marginal, individual tax rate of 70% of the very highest earners — those making more than $10 million a year. Would you support that, and if not, what would be your top individual rate be?
O’ROURKE: This economy has got to work for everyone, and right now, we know that it isn’t. And it’s gonna take all of us coming together to make sure that it does.
Time magazine translated what he said in Spanish:
We need to include every person in the success of this economy. But if we want to do that, we have to include every person in our democracy. Every vote needs representation and every voice needs to be heard.
O’Rourke continued in English, you know, that language that is the sole official language of the United States.
O’ROURKE: Right now we have a system that favors those who can pay for access and outcomes, that’s how you explain an economy that is rigged to corporations and to the very wealthiest. A $2 trillion tax cut that favored corporations while they were sitting on record piles of cash for the very wealthiest in this country at a time of historic wealth inequality. A new democracy that is revived because we have returned power to the people; no PACs, no gerrymandering, automatic and same-day registration to bring in more voters and a newer voting rights act to get rid of the barriers that are in place, now. That’s how we each have a voice in our democracy and make this economy work for everybody.
GUTHRIE: Congressman, that’s time, sir. I’ll give you 10 seconds to answer if you want to answer the direct question, “Would you support a 70% individual, marginal tax rate? Yes, no, or pass.”
O’ROURKE: I would support a tax rate and a tax code that is fair to everyone. Tax capital at the same rate that you tax ordinary income — take that corporate tax rate up to 28%, you would generate the revenues you need to pay for the programs we are talking about.
Savannah Guthrie asks Beto O'Rourke if he would support a 70% marginal tax rate
O'Rourke refuses to answer the question and starts speaking Spanish
Guthrie presses him again
O'Rourke again refuses to answer pic.twitter.com/zMAy7ioRDh
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 27, 2019
That was one spectacular dodge!
Sen. Cory “I Am Spartacus!” Booker(D-NJ) is shooting daggers at Beto with his crazy eyes and Warren is jealously wondering how he can somehow continue to pretend to be Hispanic without any consequence.
— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) June 27, 2019
Twitter was merciless — as usual.
hahahahahahaha Beto is already speaking in broken Spanish #DemDebate
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 27, 2019
Moderator: “Mr. O’Rourke, what do you think about this specific tax plan?”
Beto: “Well you see I know Spanish.”
Moderator: “Yeah but the tax plan…”
Beto: “Hola como estas”#DemocraticDebate
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 27, 2019
Top tax rate question. Beto: If I answer in Spanish, it won't be used in ads against me.
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) June 27, 2019
He just broke into Beck’s Loser in the middle of the answer. https://t.co/97v6OZNsGh
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) June 27, 2019
Beto: No one can butcher the Spanish language better than me.
Moderator: Hold my pupusa.#DemDebate
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 27, 2019
But it wasn’t just those on the right mocking Robert Francis O’Rourke.
Cool that Beto spoke in Spanish. Typical that he didn't actually answer the question until Guthrie was like, "BETO. YO. THE TAX RATE???" #DemDebate
— Lily Herman (@lkherman) June 27, 2019
None other than the writer for Teen Vogue, Lauren Duca, of the Trump’s-Plane-Should-Crash-So-That-He-Could-Die-A-Slow-And-Painful-Death-Amidst-Burning-Twisted-Metal-And-A-Jet-Fuel-Induced-Giant-Ball-Of-Flames-Just-Because-He-Is-Republican fame turned on the former Democrat heartthrob.
Savannah: Would you support a 70% tax rate
Beto: OK, first of all, let me start by reading the lyrics to "Wonderwall" in Spanish #DemDebate
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) June 27, 2019
Even a guy that writes for The Onion piled on:
Beto at debate, thinking: If you don’t know the answer, don’t speak in Spanish as a cover. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
Moderator: Should we increase the top marginal tax rate?
Beto: Necesitamos incluir cara persona en el exito de este economia
— Jesse Fernandez (@JesseFernandez) June 27, 2019
Maybe speaking Spanish is actually a good thing…
— Ching Chong Wong (@the_Wong_Chink) June 27, 2019
#BuildTheWall and #MexicoWillPayForIt
Well, that would certainly be something to celebrate, amirite?
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