Ten of the Democrats running for president took the stage at Wednesday night's debate

By Helen Murphy
June 27, 2019 09:37 AM
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The 2020 election saw one of its first meme-worthy moments on Wednesday, as 10 of the Democratic candidates running for president took the stage for night one of the first set of debates.

Among the 10 included Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, along with former Texas lawmaker Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker.

When O’Rourke received his first question, about marginal tax rates, minutes into the debate, the 46-year-old former congressman quickly transitioned his answer from English to Spanish.

In an now-viral shot from the debate, Booker, 50, looks at O’Rourke from the side as the former Senate candidate responds to the question in Spanish — quickly sparking a new meme.

“When your friend comes back from study abroad,” the Twitter account for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee quipped.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah also got in on the fun, tweeting, “When Dad says ‘Hola, como estas?’ to the waiter at the Mexican restaurant.”

“Cory Booker watching Beto speak Spanish is shook honey,” Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness chimed in.

Other social media users noticed that O’Rourke did not fully answer the question he had been asked about tax rates.

“Beto spoke in Spanish. Beto didn’t answer question in English or Spanish,” one tweeter wrote, while another added, “Beto managed to avoid answering the question in both Spanish and English.”

Some of O’Rourke’s fellow presidential candidates — who will take the stage on Thursday night for the second half of the debates — joked about their own Spanish abilities.

“I need to learn Spanish by tomorrow night at 9,” self-help author Marianne Williamson quipped.

“My Spanish is terrible,” Andrew Yang added bluntly.

Later on in the debate, Booker, who has previously referenced his Spanish abilities, also answered a question in both languages.

“CORY WAS STARING DAGGERS AT BETO SPEAKING SPANISH BECAUSE HE WAS PLANNING HIS OWN SPANISH REVEAL,” one user wrote.

In a similar sentiment, another user added, “OMG COREY [sic] BOOKER WAS MAD THAT BETO BEAT HIM TO ANSWERING IN SPANISH EARLIER.”

With more than two dozen candidates in the running, the Democratic field is the largest it has been since at least 1980, according to Bloomberg.

Health care and immigration have been key issues in the campaign so far, with polling showing Democratic voters are largely concerned with electability against President Donald Trump.

Ten more Democratic candidates will take the stage during the second night of the first set of debates, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. This debate will include former vice president Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.