Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said fellow Republican Jeb Bush should speak English in the United States, another comment likely to spark controversy in light of the millions of U.S. citizens who speak dozens of other languages nationwide.
“I like Jeb; he’s a nice man,” the real estate mogul told Breitbart News today, which has been confirmed by ABC News. “But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”
Trump has been under fire for controversial comments about immigrants from Mexico throughout the duration of his campaign. The comments also come the same day as a newly released ABC News-Washington Post poll shows that 82 percent of Hispanics have an unfavorable view of Trump.
The attack from Trump, 69, was prompted by Bush's comments at a town hall Tuesday in Miami. Bush had addressed -- in both English and Spanish -- questions from the media about his thoughts on Trump.
"I mean this is not a guy who’s a conservative and using his own words is not a mischaracterization, it came out of his own mouth," Bush, 62, said in Spanish, defending his campaign’s Web ad quoting the real estate mogul expressing Democratic positions in past years.
Trump and the former Florida governor, who speaks Spanish fluently, have been engaged in multiple attacks over the past several days.
Bush's campaign manager and director of communications immediately responded to Trump's interview with Tweets today condemning Trump's remarks.
As Donald Trump tries to kill the party attacking any American who is bilingual, Jeb is attracting new conservatives http://t.co/rdro30zM8F— Tim Miller (@Timodc) September 2, 2015
Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, referenced the diversity of languages spoken by millions across the country in response.
“Trump would be better served remembering that the U.S. is a country with diverse people who speak many different languages,” he said. “We appreciate Jeb Bush’s ability and willingness to speak directly to a Hispanic audience in Spanish. It demonstrates his respect for that diversity and willingness to connect directly with the Latino community, something Trump refuses to do.”
One in five U.S. residents (more than 61.8 million people) speaks a foreign language at home, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
National Council of La Raza spokesperson Lisa Navarrete told ABC News, “Every time Donald Trump opens his mouth he widens the gulf between the Republican Party and Latino voters. Today is no exception.”