In case you hadn’t heard, Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin has been getting a lot of Internet flak for a Ted Cruz interview gone terribly wrong, in which the co-managing editor seemingly tests Cruz on his Cuban-ness.
Toward the end of the interview, Halperin began a line of questions that got super uncomfortable, and some even called “racist.”
“I wanna talk a little bit more about your Cuban heritage,” said Halperin. “And ask you in the following categories whether you have an affinity for or a connection to anything part of your Cuban past. You got a favorite Cuban food? A favorite Cuban dish?”
Cruz appropriately responded “picadillo, I grew up eating all the time.”
Halperin then asks the all important question of who his “favorite Cuban singer” is. Cruz would punt on the matter and instead replied, “I’m much more of a Texan, I tend to listen to country music.”
The interview ended with Halperin almost demanding that Cruz speak Spanish, saying “I wanted to give you the opportunity to welcome your colleague Senator Sanders to the race and I’d like you to do it, if you would, en Español.” Cruz would politely decline the request.
We wanted to talk with Senator Cruz about his outreach to Latino voters the day after he spoke at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. My intent was to give the Senator a chance to speak further about his heritage and personal connections to the community through some casual questions. I rushed through the questions and that was a mistake — it led to poor tone and timing. I also understand why some felt the questions were inappropriate. As for asking Senator Cruz to welcome Senator Sanders to the race in Spanish, that was meant to be the type of light-hearted banter that he’s done with us before on the show. In no way was I asking Senator Cruz to “prove” he was an “authentic” Latino. I apologize to those that were offended, and to Senator Cruz. I promise that I will work to make the tone and questions better next time.
Looking forward to a potential “Is It Racist?” segment by Daniel Tosh.
Watch the cringeworthy interview, courtesy of Bloomberg Politics.