Beto O'Rourke gives debate answer in Spanish, while ducking question on 70 percent tax rate

Presidential hopeful Beto O' Rourke sidestepped a question about tax rates on wealthy Americans during Wednesday's Democratic debate in Miami and instead spoke at length in Spanish about corporate welfare.

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie's first question to the former congressman from El Paso, Texas, concerned whether he supported high tax rates for some of America's highest earners.

"Some Democrats want a marginal individual tax rate of 70 percent on the very highest earners, those making more than $10 million a year. Would you support that and if not what would your top individual rate be?" she asked.

"This economy has got to work for everyone, and right now we know that it isn't. And it's going to take all of us coming together to make sure that it does," O'Rourke said before switching to Spanish.

The sudden switch seemed to prompt Sen. Cory Booker to give his Democratic rival the side-eye -- although Booker himself gave part of an answer in Spanish later on in the debate.

O'Rourke did not answer whether he supported the tax rate.

"Beto is asked about a 70 percent tax rate and somehow ends up talking about voter registration. But not taxes," tweeted Tim Murtaugh, communications director for President Trump's re-election campaign.


Latinos have become a very important voting bloc in recent years. Trump launched a "Latinos for Trump" campaign in Miami earlier this week and many residents of the city are bilingual.