TIME 2016 Election

‘That Mexican Thing’ Took on a Life of Its Own Online

Once again, a poorly worded phrase at a debate took on a life of its own online.

At Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine had again referenced Donald Trump’s campaign launch, in which he said that Mexico was sending rapists to the U.S.

“You whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Pence replied, peevishly.

Reaction on Twitter was quick, especially among Latinos. The hashtag #thatmexicanthing soon filled with Clinton supporters and Trump critics.

By the end of the debate, some anonymous wag had registered the website thatMexicanthing.com and redirected it to Hillary Clinton’s website.


The moment was the third most tweeted moment on Twitter, behind the two vice presidential nominees discussing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the global use of nuclear weapons.

Overall, the Republican ticket far outstripped the two Democrats in share of the conversation online, on both Facebook and Twitter—meaning more people were talking about them, negative or positive.

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