An implicit rebuke to Trump for scolding him a few weeks ago for speaking Spanish to a reporter. In fact, the Spanish spoken by Jeb here is so basic that even English speakers with a rudimentary grasp of the language can probably piece out what he’s saying. I wonder if that was deliberate. What better way to demonstrate cultural fusion than by showing non-Spanish-speaking Americans how much Spanish they’ve picked up idly in the course of their lives?
For the one or two readers who might need it, here’s a translation from MSNBC:
Jeb Bush: Los Estados Unidos de América es un gran país. Gracias a las personas que vienen de todas partes del mundo, contribuyendo a nuestra economía y comunidad. Para mi la cultura hispana es muy importante y positiva.
[The United States of America is a great country. Thanks to the people that come from all over the world, contributing to our economy and community. To me, Hispanic culture is very important and positive.]
Columba Bush: I have lived over half my life here. We all have the same interests, the same feelings.
Jeb Bush: Nuestros valores son muy parecidos. Me siento orgulloso de que mis hijos y nietos son hispanos.
[Our values are very similar. I am proud that my children and grandchildren are Hispanic.]
Columba Bush: We go to church every Sunday. We have celebrations with the family and we keep our traditions. But at the end it’s just that, faith, friends and family.
Jeb Bush: Los hispanos contribuyen cada día mas a nuestra cultura, son parte integral del sueño americano. Por esos motivos y mas, yo los invito a que celebren el mes de la herencia hispana, porque todos somos Americanos!
[Hispanics contribute more every day to our culture; they are an integral part of the American dream. For these reasons and more, I invite you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because we are all Americans!]
The most interesting part of this isn’t the Spanish, it’s the fact that Mrs. Bush is being enlisted in ads — and early too, before summer’s even over. Columba Bush famously dislikes the political spotlight. I assume that if Jeb was pulling the kind of numbers right now that he thought he’d be pulling at this point in the race when he first jumped in, Team Bush would be happy to keep her on the sidelines until she’s absolutely needed, i.e. the general election. As it is, they’re using her here to set up a battle-for-the-future-of-the-GOP contrast with Trump: You can vote for the guy who grumbles about Mexican rapists or you can vote for the guy who married a nice girl from Mexico and had a family with her. Despite his falling polls, I think it’s still Bush’s strategy to try to turn the GOP race as much as possible into a “Trump versus Bush” death match on the assumption that most undecided Republicans, when push comes to shove, will hold their noses and choose the guy with the hopeful, inclusive message instead of the guy who wants to deport everyone. Hasn’t worked so far, including with Latinos in his own home state, but it’s a long campaign.