Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is defending his use of Spanish on the campaign trail, calling Donald Trump’s criticism of him a “joke” that made him laugh.
“I laughed. I mean this is a joke,” Bush said when asked by ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos about his response to Trump’s attack. “Part of it is, you laugh, because it’s so bizarre but it’s hurtful for a lot of people and Mr. Trump know there is. He’s appealing to their angst and fears rather than higher hopes.”
In an interview with Breitbart News, Trump chided Bush for speaking Spanish to attack him.
“I like Jeb,” Trump said. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”
During an interview with “Good Morning America,” Bush defended his use of Spanish in an appearance at a bilingual school in Miami, after students and reporters asked him questions in Spanish.
“[T]hese young beautiful kids all speak English but also speak Spanish and one of them asked me a question in Spanish and I answered it. That’s the reality of America, that’s the goodness of America. That’s the kind of America we want,” he said, referring to the multicultural legacy of the United States.
Bush suggested that Trump was hypocritical in his attack, pointing out that the billionaire once had a contract with the Spanish language network Univision. “Are we going to close all the foreign language classes?” he asked.
“This is a diverse country,” Bush continued. “We should celebrate that diversity and embrace a set of shared values. Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in those shared values. He wants to tear us down.”
Bush dismissed Trump for “trying to insult his way to the presidency.”
“[I]t’s not going to work,” Bush said. “People want an uplifting hopeful message.”
When asked if he would support Donald Trump’s candidacy if he won the Republican nomination, Bush chuckled.
“Yeah I would, of course,” he said.