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Story highlights

Sarah Palin praised Bush's ability to speak Spanish

Palin said the GOP is welcoming to minorities

Washington CNN —  

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is praising Jeb Bush for being bilingual – but she would prefer people in this country “speak American.”

“It’s a benefit of Bush to be able to be so fluent, because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population building America, and that’s a great connection he has with them,” Palin told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.” “On the other hand, I think we can send a message and say, ‘You want to be in America, A, you’d better be here legally or you’re out of here. B, when you’re here, let’s speak American. … Let’s speak English, and that’s a kind of a unifying aspect of the nation is the language that is understood by all.”

Donald Trump recently criticized Bush for answering a question in Spanish, saying the former Florida governor should only speak in English in when the U.S. Bush said he answered in Spanish because he was asked the question in Spanish.

Palin also disagreed with a recent statement by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who said last week that the Republican Party “often appears cold and unwelcoming to minorities.”

“I can’t think of any Republican that I know who would have that in their heart,” Palin said. “(The Republican Party) is the party that would wish to bring people in together, standing together, putting America first, even in terms of the culture, accepting people’s differences and the diverse views and everything else, because we have common sense driving our party,” she said.