When Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called out Sen. Marco Rubio at the third GOP debate Wednesday night, he may have insulted a nation. Bush, attacking Rubio for missing a string of Senate votes, said his rival needed to show up to work -- which he said wasn't that hard, given the Senate's "French work week." But CNBC reported his comment didn't sit well with the French ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud.

Araud took to Twitter Wednesday night to defend the idea of a French work week, a tradition adopted in 2000 that sets the legal maximum of employee hours at 35. He noted that despite the requirement, French people spend an average of 39.6 hours a week -- more than the Germans, who work 39.2.

Araud wasn't the only one offended by Bush's statement, which came after Florida newspaper the Sun-Sentinel demanded Rubio resign for skipping 59 votes in the Senate while campaigning for president. Bush, who's polling in fourth place to Rubio's third among GOP primary voters, had said, "The Senate, what is it like a French work week? You get, like, three days where you have to show up?"

Several American media outlets said Bush's insult fell flat, and French reporters appeared to agree Thursday. The Local newspaper published an article about the debate with the headline "White House race stoops to French bashing, again." L'Express called Bush's tirade "a classic attack," and the Metro News denounced it as "Republican humor."

Henri de Raincourt, a senator for Yonne, France, and a minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, tweeted an invitation at Bush Thursday to come visit the French Senate and "change your preconceptions about our institution." The senator later retweeted a message noting that "in the Yonne, we defend our institutions beyond the borders."