Sen. Tim Kaine Delivers Speech in Spanish on Senate Floor

Posted on: June 11th, 2013 by ABC News No Comments

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Tim Kaine did something rare on Tuesday: he delivered a speech in Spanish on the floor of the Senate.

Shortly after noon, the Virginia Democrat spoke in favor of immigration reform hours before the Senate voted to move forward on the bill.

On a day when supporters and opponents spoke at length about the immigration bill, Kaine’s speech would have struggled to stick out had it not been in a different language. Spanish floor speeches are extremely rare in the Senate, but Roll Call notes this wasn’t the first time a senator spoke a little español at the rostrum. Florida GOP Sen. Mel Martinez did it in 2005.

Unlike Martinez, Kaine isn’t a native speaker. He learned the language while teaching in Honduras as a 22-year-old.

The freshman senator’s speech also appeared to be a tip of the cap to Latino voters in his home state. Sixty-two percent voted for Kaine over his GOP opponent last November, according to exit polls, giving him an edge in the race.

Watch Kaine’s full speech here.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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