Speed Reads

2020 Democratic debates

Cory Booker on viral Beto glare: 'I usually have a better poker face than that'

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is chalking up that viral debate glare to an unfortunately inadequate poker face — though he's apparently really been enjoying all of those memes.

A moment of Booker seeming to give former congressman Beto O'Rourke some serious side-eye when he began to speak in Spanish became a Twitter sensation during the first Democratic debate. In an interview on Thursday, the New Jersey senator joked about the glare seen around the world, with CNN's Erin Burnett wondering if it could be giving his fundraising numbers a boost.

"I usually have a better poker face than that," Booker said, reflecting on this as a "good lesson" that the "camera's always on."

Booker also said he's been "cracking up all day" over the various memes friends of his have been showing him, his favorite apparently being one with a caption that read, "that moment when your father at a Taco Bell tries to order in Spanish." O'Rourke and Booker apparently commiserated about the glare after the debate, with Booker saying O'Rourke was "fun-loving" about the situation and joked about "some mistakes that he made" in his Spanish-speaking.

With the second round of debates set to begin soon, it remains to be seen whether another moment will take off in the same way Booker's did — but if so, he might have even more side-eye to offer to whomever steals his viral thunder. Brendan Morrow