Tim Kaine: 'Spanish Was the Language of Our Country Before English'

According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll, Clinton leads Trump among Latinos by a whopping 50 percent.

Nevertheless, Kaine's statement that "Spanish was the language of our country before English" is not accurate. If "country" means "a state or nation," English was the first language of the United States of America.

In Spanish, however, the word Kaine used was "país," which means "country" or "land." If Kaine meant the land which now occupies the United States, he might be correct, but the statement that "we have had Hispanic roots since the beginning" might be considered insulting to the native Americans who lived in North America for thousands of years before the arrival of Spanish-speaking explorers.

Even so, Spanish was never the language of the entire continental United States in the way that English is today. Yes, thousands of people in the United States speak Spanish, and many areas have endorsed the language, but America's laws and founding documents are in English (although German and Dutch versions were also drafted).

This is not to downplay the Latino culture across America — such culture should indeed flourish among those who are in this country legally. But the United States is strongest if we have a common language for laws and public discourse, and if our leaders represent the entire country, as opposed to specific minorities within it.