Thursday, May 04, 2006

And Hilarity Ensues

AP, 1998:

Helping matters, Bush also speaks fluent Spanish. So does his brother, Jeb Bush, who is married to a Mexican-American and was elected governor of Florida, thanks in part to a strong Hispanic vote.

Portsmouth Herald, 1999:

Bush also took a question from a Spanish reporter and answered in fluent Spanish.

Pat Robertson on CNN, 2/24/2000:

ROBERTSON: Well, I think he could say that, but I think he's made it clear. He said it in Michigan. He said, "Look, I'm not anti-Catholic, and I don't support racism." I mean, this guy has put together a coalition in Texas of Hispanics -- he speaks fluent Spanish -- of -- of African- Americans, of Democrats. I mean, he is a very, very tolerant, broad-based guy. And I think that the media's spinning this thing way out of proportion to what really happened. That's my feeling.

New York Times, 2/28/00 (Nicholas Kristof reporting):

He also showed off his Spanish, which is fluent, by firing off a sentence in Spanish.

McLaughlin Group, 6/2000:

MR. O'DONNELL: Absolutely, and they both -- they both do it well. I mean, George W. Bush is fluent in Spanish.

National Review, 4/2000:

Yes, indeed. He was fluent in Spanish, which appeals to that minority, and he was fluent in gibberish-the touchy-feely Clintonian hogwash that the elusive "soccer mom" is said to go bananas over.

PBS, 5/9/2000:

RICHARD RODRIGUEZ: I was listening the other day to Governor Bush speak fluent Spanish to Hispanic voters when it struck me that Spanish is becoming unofficially, but truly, the second language of the United States.

(this presumably could be referring to Jeb Bush, but there's no distinction made and since this was in the middle of the 2000 election I assume he meant George)

CNN 8/2000:

PRESS: Well, I wonder how good George Bush's Spanish is. Did he know what the lyrics were before he said they ought to play the song at the convention? I don't know.

O'BRIEN: Yes, he says he's fluent.

Morning call, 4/22/06:

It's also good to see President Bush, (a fluent Spanish-speaker, by the way), leading the vision for comprehensive immigration reform based on three elements: border security, effective immigration law enforcement, and very importantly, a temporary worker program.

Scott McClellan today:

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the assertion did not ring true to him because, "The president speaks Spanish, but not that well."

"I'm saying that not only was that suggestion absurd, but that he couldn't possibly sing the national anthem in Spanish. He's not that good with his Spanish," McClellan said.