Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” aired live following night one of the first Democratic debate Wednesday. You know, the one that included an “Español-off” between former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
“The biggest early moment was a linguistic surprise from Beto O’Rourke,” Colbert said during his monologue at the top of the show, cutting to a clip of the politician switching from English to Spanish during his first answer of the faceoff between 10 of the Democratic presidential hopefuls.
“Not entirely sure why he felt he had to do that,” Colbert said. “He’s either trying to lock up the Hispanic vote or he’s running for embarrassing dad at a Mexican restaurant.”
The CBS late-night host pointed out the “crazy thing” was that when O’Rourke was speaking Spanish, the closed captioning provided by NBC “just said ‘speaking foreign language.'” “I like that, really got through. Really penetrated,” Colbert quipped.
“And Cory Booker was not having it, check out the side-eye he gives Beto. ‘Damn, that was gonna be my thing,'” he said, referencing Booker’s facial expression in reaction to O’Rourke’s Spanish, which has already become a meme.
Then when the debate turned the crisis at the border, “Booker took Beto’s Spanish and raised him uno mas,” Colbert said, cutting to a clip of the senator answering in Spanish himself.
“OH SNAP! It is on, it is on,” Colbert said. “It is an Español-off — or as they say in Spanish: grupo de idiotas.’ I hope I said that right, I don’t speak ‘foreign language.’ By the way, guys, there’s so much Spanish on stage, ICE is closing in. Get out of there!”
Watch the full clip above.