Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke broke out his Spanish in the middle of his first answer.
“We need to include every person in this economy’s success,” he said in Spanish. “But if we want to do that, we need to include every person in our democracy. Every voter needs representation and we need to listen to every voice.”
O’Rourke was likely trying to make a direct pitch to viewers watching on Telemundo, which was one of the networks broadcasting the debate.
But the opening gambit struck some critics as pandering, and many observers couldn’t help but notice Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — who later broke out some Spanish himself — looking on, leading to the debate’s first meme:
Question: can all of you say basically the same thing but in 20 sort of different ways and make it stretch for two hours?
Beto: Si, se puede
— Caroline Moss (@CarolineMoss) June 27, 2019
et moi, je parle francais!
-probably someone on the end
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) June 27, 2019