Marco Rubio Spars With Ted Cruz Over Immigration – In Spanish

Amna Shoaib
The latest GOP debate was a chance for Ted Cruz to show off his bilingual skills.

The Republican debates have progressively gotten more incredulous, but at least each also gets more entertaining than the last.

This time around, presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio decided to scuffle over a topic dear to Republicans: the evil immigrants.


There was the characteristic blame-game. Rubio accused the Texas senator of having previously supported a path to citizenship in the Senate.

Cruz denies having ever done anything to that effect.

In turn, Cruz also hurled an allegation at Rubio, saying that the latter had supported the citizenship of 12,000 undocumented immigrants. He also pointed to an interview Rubio had done with Eurovision, reiterating that his stance on immigration will be vastly different from Rubio’s in the interview.

Rubio then said perhaps the stupidest thing in a debate that has featured the likes of Donald Trump, who regularly proposes building fences along borders and bullies his rivals for applause. Cruz cannot, Rubio argued, attack him on the basis of a Spanish interview, because he spoke no Spanish. 

But Cruz had a trick up his sleeve.


The debate then started to feel more like a sketch rather than an actual debate among people who actually want to be president. Cruz shot back in Spanish, "No cierto" ("Untrue.") He then insisted on speaking to Rubio in Spanish until he had exhausted his meager reserves of Spanish.

Both men were born to Cuban parents: Rubio's mother and father and Cruz's father. 

For those of you who are wondering, this is what Rubio said in the 2012 interview.

"I respect the right of Arizona to have a law like the one it had, but I don't believe that it should be a model for the country. I do want to help those young people who are here undocumented and I'm strongly working to attain this. What I do not support is the manner in which the Dream Act does it. I do want to create a system of legal immigration that works. If we have an immigration system that works, then we are not going to have so many."