“O’Rourke also spoke at length in his native Spanish, eliciting loud and sustained cheers.”
The Associated Press issued a correction on a Saturday report that described presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, D-T.X., as speaking in his “native Spanish” at an El Paso rally.
O’Rourke officially launched his presidential campaign with a speech in the border town of El Paso. At one point during a speech that focused heavily on immigration issues, O’Rourke spoke to the crowd in Spanish.
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The AP was there to cover that event, but faced immediate ridicule on social media after it mistakenly claimed that O’Rourke was a native Spanish speaker.
“O’Rourke also spoke at length in his native Spanish, eliciting loud and sustained cheers,” the original AP report read. In a correction, the AP noted: “In a story March 31 about a Beto O’Rourke campaign rally, The Associated Press reported erroneously that O’Rourke spoke to a rally in his native Spanish. O’Rourke is not a native Spanish speaker.”
O’Rourke, whose full name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, is a fourth generation Irish-American. That fact wasn’t lost on social media users, who torched the AP on social media.
Ah, yes, the 4th generation Irish American from Texas, Robert Francis O’Rourke, speaking his ‘native Spanish’
So good, in fact, was his ‘native Spanish’ that the crowds actually thought they’d been magically whisked away to the Emerald Isle with the other native Spanish speakers https://t.co/tYvGF2hAuR
— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) April 1, 2019
“Crowds actually thought they’d been magically whisked away to the Emerald Isle with the other native Spanish speakers,” quipped reality-TV personality Chet Cannon.
“The dude’s Irish,” tweeted podcast host Phil Valentine.
Native Spanish? The dude's Irish! https://t.co/2QmtiZe4dH
— Phil Valentine (@ValentineShow) April 1, 2019
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin called the AP report, “propaganda.”
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) April 1, 2019
Meanwhile, some found humor in the error.
Native Spanish? So, he can’t be POTUS, right?? ? Not the birth certificate thing again!!! https://t.co/OzRyfaJyN5
— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) March 31, 2019
The AP has since corrected the original version of the story, removing the word “native” so that it reads, “O’Rourke also spoke at length in Spanish, eliciting loud and sustained cheers”.
O’Rourke, 46, is seen by many as a potential front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president ahead of the 2020 election. He burst onto the political scene during the 2018 midterms, nearly unseating Sen. Ted Cruz, R-T.X., in deep red Texas.
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