Late-night hosts poked fun at 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke for his use of Spanish during Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate, even comparing him to an "embarrassing dad at a Mexican restaurant."
O’Rourke, who was a darling of the liberal media early in the process, spoke at length in Spanish about corporate welfare, which prompted a now-viral glare from Sen. Cory Booker. The former congressman from El Paso, Texas, was widely mocked on social media for dodging NBC’s Savannah Guthrie's first question in two languages — but the jokes didn’t stop once the debate ended.
NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” namesake laughed at O’Rourke’s sudden shift to Spanish, pointing out Booker’s face. “Late Night” host Seth Meyers said that O’Rourke “settled” on the strategy to go bilingual as an attempt to stand out in the crowded field.
“I mean, I knew he was going to bust out his Spanish, I just didn’t know it would be that quickly. Remember Beto, you only have one bullet so don’t fire until you see the whites of their-BANG,” Meyers joked before also pointing out Booker’s face.
“Now you might think that’s the face of a guy thinking, ‘I can’t believe you’re pandering by speaking Spanish,’ but it’s actually the face of a guy thinking, ‘Oh man, I was gonna do that,” Meyers said before playing a clip of Booker answering a question in Spanish later in the debate.
Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah teased O’Rourke for knowing how to “spice up a bland affair” with a surprise outburst.
“This guy was so fluent, I bet half of America thought they flipped to Univision by mistake."
“This guy was so fluent, I bet half of America thought they flipped to Univision by mistake,” Noah said.
CBS’ “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert called O’Rourke’s Spanish a “linguistic surprise,” questioning why he made the decision in the first place.
“He’s either trying to lock up the Hispanic vote or he’s running for embarrassing dad at a Mexican restaurant."
“He’s either trying to lock up the Hispanic vote or he’s running for embarrassing dad at a Mexican restaurant,” Colbert said before pointing out the closed caption simply said “speaking foreign language.”
“Really got through, really penetrated,” Colbert sarcastically said.
"I thought it was humorous, sometimes, at times especially because of the content of the question," Ocasio-Cortez told Colbert. "I thought it was a good gesture to the fact that we are a diverse country.”
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.