The war of words between Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Jeb Bush is now also a war of palabras.
In an interview with the conservative news site Breitbart, the real estate mogul and television personality said that the former Florida governor should be using English while campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination – not the Spanish he used to criticize the business magnate during a campaign stop earlier this week.
"I like Jeb," Trump said. "He's a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States."
Trump's comments come after Bush decided to go on the offensive and lash back at his controversial opponent while talking to Spanish-language reporters on Tuesday.
"He attacks me every day — he personalizes everything," Bush told Spanish-language reporters at a Miami campaign event, according to Politico. "If you're not totally in agreement with him, you're an ‘idiot,' you're ‘stupid,' you have ‘low energy,' blah, blah, blah.'"
Bush, who generally avoids direct confrontations with other candidates, seemed frustrated and added that Trump has used the campaign to attack him personally.
"It's all personal for him, sure – mischaracterizations of my views, longstanding views," he said. "I've written a book about [immigration]. If he was interested in actually knowing my views, he could read the book. And he would know that I'm for border security, and in a practical way that won't cost hundreds of billions of dollars like what he's proposed."
The former Florida chief executive said Thursday during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" that his first reaction was to laugh at Trump's criticism for speaking Spanish.
"I mean this is a joke," Bush said. He called Trump's comments bizarre, adding that the mogul is appealing to people's fear rather than their hope.
Trump, he said, is trying to "insult his way to the presidency."
In his interview with Breitbart, Trump also criticized another GOP presidential challenger, Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been critical of Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan in a number of recent press appearances.
"I know what he is trying to say, but my problem is that America is a great country," Rubio told Fox News Channel's Bill Hemmer Wednesday morning. "It's the best country in the world."
Trump, who called Rubio "Jeb's plebe," responded to the Florida senator's comments by saying that they mean his opponent is complacent about the condition of the country and doesn't believe there is room for improvement.
"If Marco thinks that the country is great now, he'll never be elected president because it's not what it was, and it's not great enough – and we will make the country great again," Trump said. "But if Marco is satisfied – I like Marco, but that means he's satisfied. You can't be satisfied. You have to use the word ‘again.' It's very important, because if he's saying that, then that means there's no room for improvement. That means he's satisfied. That means he's unelectable."