During a recent campaign trip to Miami, Jeb Bush told reporters who asked him about Donald Trump, ”El hombre no es conservador” (the man is not conservative). Bush, who probably didn’t expect that his presidential campaign would mostly entail talking about Donald Trump, added, in Spanish, “He attacks me every day. He attacks me every day with barbarities … He’s not conservative. He doesn’t have a career that you could say is conservative. And beyond that, he personalizes everything. If you’re not totally in agreement with him, you’re an idiot, or stupid, or you don’t have energy or ‘blah blah blah.’ That’s what he does.”
Because presidential elections are often reduced to being the U.S. Open of statements and care-to comments, Donald Trump was soon asked what he thought of Bush’s remarks by Breitbart News. “I like Jeb. He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”
Sixty-five percent of U.S. Hispanics surveyed by Gallup have an unfavorable opinion of Trump; Bush has a 34 percent favorable rating. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll has 82 percent of Hispanics with an unfavorable view of Trump; 43 percent have a favorable opinion of Bush. Trump, who met with the head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday, has previously faced criticism for telling reporter Jorge Ramos, “You haven’t been called … go back to Univision,” and calling Mexicans “rapists.” (He later told Don Lemon, “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”)
Bush campaign staffers quickly took to Twitter to push back against Trump’s remarks.
In June, Bush told ABC News that he speaks “more Spanish than English at home” — although he has also said that immigrants should have to learn English in order to get legal status. Fellow Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio also speaks fluent Spanish.
Previous presidential candidates have gotten in trouble for saying things about speaking languages other than English in the U.S. In 2007, Newt Gingrich apologized in a YouTube video — in Spanish — after saying, “The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.” As Speaker of the House, Gingrich had previously said that bilingualism posed “long-term dangers to the fabric of our nation.” Gingrich later ran an attack ad against Mitt Romney for speaking French.
This wasn’t the only insult against Bush uttered by Trump that went public today; the Republican front-runner also told the Washington Post, talking about golf, “I’d love to play Jeb for the presidency. That would be even easier than running against him in politics.”
Trump also told Breitbart that he hopes he is “treated better than I was at the last debate” during the next one, and that he is very much ready for it. “Yeah,” he said, “I’ve been, I think, preparing my whole life for the next debate.”