US presidential race in spotlight as 17 Republican Party candidates prepare for a Fox News-sponsored debate.
Former US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been criticised after telling immigrants to the country to speak “American”.
Palin was speaking to CNN’s State of the Union programme on Sunday when she was asked to comment on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s condemnation of fellow contender Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish in front of a Hispanic audience.
“I think we can send a message and say: ‘You want to be in America? A: you better be here legally, or you’re out of here. B: when you’re here, let’s speak American.’ I mean, that’s just, that’s … let’s speak English,” Palin said on the show.
The former governor of the state of Alaska added language should be a “unifying aspect of a nation” and must be understood by everyone.
The wording of Palin’s comments sparked a hail of criticism online with many tweets mocking her for the gaffe while condemning her stance on immigration.
Palin also said she might like to be appointed energy secretary if Trump wins the presidency.
“I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby, oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use, instead of relying on unfriendly foreign nations for us to import their resources,” Palin said.
“And if I were head of that,” she said of the department, “I would get rid of it”.