Sarah Palin insists immigrants should “speak American” rather than Spanish by Olivia Goldhill

Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and now Sarah Palin, are all arguing in English over the Spanish language.

With 41 million native Spanish speakers and 12 million bilinguals in the US, it’s safe to say the US is a multilingual nation. Yet the importance of speaking English has become the subject of a feud between Republican presidential nominees Trump and Bush over the past few weeks.

Bush, who is fluent in Spanish, was criticised for speaking “Mexican” by Trump.

@YoungYoung54: @JeriHyatt @megynkelly @JebBush So true. Jeb Bush is crazy, who cares that he speaks Mexican, this is America, English !!”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2015

Bush’s bilingual talents don’t seem to impress Sarah Palin, either, who said over the weekend that everyone living in the US should “speak American.” Palin said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday (Sept. 6):

It’s a benefit of Jeb Bush to be able to be so fluent in Spanish, because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population that is helping to build America.

On the other hand, you know, I think we can send a message and say: ‘You want to be in America? A, you better be here legally, or you’re out of here. B, when you’re here, let’s speak American.’ I mean, that’s just, that’s–let’s speak English.

Palin said she did occasionally speak Spanish while learning it in high school. “And I took French in high school,” the former Alaska governor told CNN. “Shouldn’t have taken them both, because I got them all mixed up by the time I was graduating.”

Palin also said she would like to serve as energy secretary in a potential Trump administration—and her first order of business would be to abolish the department.

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