Cory Booker’s ‘Side Eye’ When Beto O’Rourke Speaks Spanish At 2020 Democratic Debate Goes Viral

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 26: Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke (R) speaks as Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) look on during the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida.  A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first debate of the 2020 election, taking place over two nights at Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and Telemundo. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Cory Booker’s ‘Side Eye’ When Beto O’Rourke Speaks Spanish At 2020 Democratic Debate Goes Viral

Here's what the New Jersey Senator had to say about that meme-worthy moment.

Published June 27th

The first round of the Democratic debate kicked off in Miami last night and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke wasted no time reminding the country he speaks Spanish.

It all began when moderator Savannah Guthrie asked O’Rourke if he supports Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed 70 percent top tax rate on the wealthiest earners.

Instead of giving a detailed response about his tax ideas, O’Rourke dove head first into a Spanish response many native speakers found somewhat cringeworthy.

“We need to include every person in the success of this economy,” he said in Spanish. “But if we want to do this, we need to include everyone in our democracy. We need the representation of every voter, and we need to hear every voice.”

As soon as O’Rourke started speaking Spanish, cameras caught New Jersey Senator Cory Booker giving the first meme-able look of the night.

  1. Booker’s look was not lost on Twitter and immediately became a side-eye trend
  2. Later on in the evening, Booker threw his own hat in the Spanish ring during a question about the border crisis. While answering in English for a moment, Booker took a pause and then began answering in Spanish.

    “The situation right now is unacceptable. The president has attacked and demonized immigrants. It’s unacceptable. I will change this,” he slowly said in Spanish.

  3. Booker’s attempt to show O’Rourke he’s not the only person on stage with “Duo Lingo” also became a unique moment on Twitter
  4. After the debate, CNN reporter Anderson Cooper asked Booker about what was going through his mind during his infamous side-eye moment with O’Rourke.

    "I can't really remember... I just knew he had laid a gauntlet down," Booker playfully responded.

    “And I was talking a little bit with [Julián] Castro. Both he and I knew, as people who can speak Spanish, that now we were gonna bring it as well.”

  5. In the end, both Booker and O’Rourke were the two candidates who spoke the most during the debate. 

    Meanwhile, Julián Castro, the only Hispanic American in the race, opted to use his time to speak about concrete policy plans and only spoke Spanish during his final remarks when he said “adios” to Donald Trump.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


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