PHOENIX (AP) — Donald Trump's utterance of "bad hombres" during Wednesday night's presidential debate echoed across both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Within minutes, the Republican nominee was getting a lashing about his mangling of English and Spanish.
Trump — whose proposal for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border helped fuel his rise to the party nomination — blamed some "bad hombres here" for drug epidemics around the country, and promised to kick them out.
"Bad hombres" quickly began trending on Twitter.
At a Mexico City barbecue restaurant, an assortment of Mexicans and expats guffawed at "bad hombres."
"I think the way that Trump has talked about Mexicans from the start of the campaign is to call them rapists, criminals, he hasn't changed," Santiago Betancourt said at Pinche Gringo BBQ, where about 200 people gathered to watch the debate. "Trump maybe echoes or uses arguments that exist among an American class that he's betting can make him president. I don't think it's a presidential discourse."
Political commentator Ana Navarro, a Republican who often criticizes Trump, offered a Spanish lesson via Twitter. To some, it sounded like Trump said "bad hambres."
"Trump said some stupidity re 'Bad hombres': Spanish lesson 101: hombre=man; hambre=hunger; hombro=shoulder; ombre=Kardashian hair color," Navarro said.
For others, "bad hombres" was just confusing.
Hussein Kazwini, a 22-year-old college student and first-generation American, watched at his parents' home in Toledo, Ohio. His parents came to the United States 30 years ago.
"What does that even mean?" Kazwini said. "I guess he's trying to send them a direct message."
Causey reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writers Teresa DeMiguel in Mexico City and John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio, contributed to this report.