Chris Christie, who is not bilingual, apparently doesn't think Jeb Bush should flaunt that he speaks Spanish fluently. (Or at least he shouldn't do that, and then criticize Asians.)
Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked Christie Tuesday night how Republican candidates should try to appeal to Hispanic voters without alienating their conservative base.
"By telling the truth and enforcing the law," Christie said. "I mean, the fact is that you don't need to be pandering to one way or the other. I'll tell you the way you don't do it. You don't do focus group-tested trips to the border, speak Spanish and then criticize Asians."
"He's referring to Jeb Bush, for those of you who are at work the last couple of days," Kelly added.
Bush visited McAllen, Texas, on Monday and later held a news conference in which he fielded questions in both English and Spanish. He was asked about using the term "anchor babies," which he tried to explain as referring to "fraud" by "mostly Asians" who come to the U.S. to give birth.
Christie has been struggling in the polls far behind Bush. His underdog campaign appeared pleased with the New Jersey governor's TV performance: It sent reporters video and a transcript of the exchange with Kelly, highlighting the hit on Bush.
Later in the interview, Christie noted Bush's trouble trying to clarify his "anchor baby" position, which offended both Hispanic and Asian groups.
"We don't need a candidate who's looking backwards who can't even answer a question on anchor babies," Christie said. "We need to have someone who is going to be looking forward and doing things the right way. And I'm not trying to be coy about it. The fact is that if Governor Bush cannot stand up to answer those questions with two or three tries at it, what's going to happen when he has to look at Vladimir Putin?"
Christie might not speak Spanish himself -- or find it helpful for other Republicans to do so -- but his reelection campaign in 2013 made a point of releasing at least one Spanish-language ad geared at Hispanic voters.
This post has been updated.