The Associated Press found itself the punch line of more than a few jokes on Sunday after mistakenly claiming that 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke spoke “in his native Spanish” at a rally in El Paso, Texas.
The original AP copy noted the “loud and sustained cheers” O’Rourke received when switching to Spanish, but the language is not his native tongue.
Someone then corrected the story, but didn’t note the change right away. When HuffPost asked about the lack of a correction note, the AP said, “There should have been a correction. It’s forthcoming.”
Minutes later, the following note was added to the story:
In a story March 31 about a Beto O’Rourke campaign rally, The Associated Press reported erroneously that O’Rourke spoke to a rally in his native Spanish. O’Rourke is not a native Spanish speaker.
The AP did not tell HuffPost why the error occurred.
Daily Mail editor David Martosko tweeted a screenshot of the story’s original copy.
O’Rourke, a former congressman who lost his Senate run in 2018 to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), has made immigration a primary talking point in his speeches, kicking off his series of rallies along the southern U.S. border just after President Donald Trump threatened to close the border down.
Though he lost to Cruz by less than 3 points, O’Rourke raised a record-shattering $6.1 million within 24 hours of making his 2020 announcement.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the year in which Cruz beat O’Rourke as 2017.