Presidential races

Cruz starts speaking Spanish after Rubio says he doesn’t know the language

Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio clashed vigorously on illegal immigration during the Republican presidential debate Saturday night, with the candidates at one point tussling over who speaks Spanish.

Cruz (R-Texas) opened with an attack on “the Rubio-Schumer amnesty plan,” referring to the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration bill in the Senate in 2013 that Rubio supported, along with Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.

{mosads}His initial attack on Rubio (R-Fla.) was met with boos from the debate hall, to which Cruz retorted that the position was “apparently supported by the donor class.”

“Marco has a long record when it comes to amnesty,” Cruz continued, saying Rubio supported in-state tuition for illegal immigrants while serving in the Florida state house.

“Marco went on Univision in Spanish and said he would not rescind President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty on his first day in office,” he said.

Rubio cracked a smile and fired back: “I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t speak Spanish.”

Cruz attempted to transition the exchange into Spanish, offering a few words in the language before Rubio again ripped the Texas senator as having shifted his views on the issue.

Citing “a disturbing pattern,” Rubio argued that “Ted Cruz has just been telling lies.” He said his colleague “makes things up” and has supported legalizing undocumented immigrants already in the United States.

“Here’s the truth: Ted Cruz supported legalizing people that were in this country illegally and only now does he say he [doesn’t].”

“He either wasn’t telling the truth then or he isn’t telling the truth now,” Rubio said, pushing back on those who “argue that he’s a purist on immigration.”

Tags Charles Schumer Marco Rubio Ted Cruz
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