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Bloomberg Editor Apologizes for 'Tone' of Ted Cruz Hispanic Questions

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 05:22 PM

A humbled Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, apologized for a cringeworthy interview in which he quizzed Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz about his favorite Cuban food, his Hispanic identity, and whether he would say something in Spanish.

"We wanted to talk with Senator Cruz about his outreach to Latino voters the day after he spoke at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce," Halperin said in a statement Monday.

"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."

In the rush to get through some casual questions with Cruz, the tone and timing of the questions came across as insulting, Halperin conceded.

"I also understand why some felt the questions were inappropriate. As for asking Senator Cruz to welcome [Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.] 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," Halperin said. "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."

Halperin's interview with the Cuban-American lawmaker took place last week.

The Washington Examiner posted some of the tone-deaf questions to the Texas Republican on Monday.

"Senator, people are really interested in you and your identity. So, I just wanted to ask you as a historical matter, when you filled out your application to Princeton, to Harvard Law School, did you list yourself as an Hispanic?" Halperin asked.

Cruz replied: "That's my heritage and my background."

"[D]o you have a favorite Cuban food … Cuban dish?" Halperin pressed.

"Oh, I grew up eating Cuban food all the time, I —" Cruz began to answer, when Halperin interrupted and asked:

"What's your favorite dish?," and then, "All right… do you like Cuban music? Do you have a favorite Cuban Singer?"

Cruz admitted he's more "into country music."

"Finally, I wanted to give you the opportunity to welcome your colleague [Sen. Bernie Sanders. I-Vt.] to the race and I'd like you to do it, if you would, en español," Halperin said.

Cruz told Halperin he'd rather stick to English, the Washington Examiner reports.

The jarring questions got hammered from both the right and left, including the Washington Post and Breitbart News, which slammed the interview under a headline blaring: "Sing us a Song, Boy: Mark Halperin's Racist Interview with Ted Cruz."

Syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette called the exchange "painful" and "nauseating."

"This was bad journalism, bad form, and bad manners," he wrote in a column published Saturday by the San Jose Mercury News. "I kept waiting for Halperin to ask Cruz to play the conga drums like Desi Arnaz while dancing salsa and sipping café con leche — all to prove the Republican is really Cuban."

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A humbled Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, apologized for a cringeworthy interview in which he quizzed Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz about his favorite Cuban food, his Hispanic identity, and whether he would say something in Spanish.
bloomberg, editor, apologizes, ted cruz, interview, hispanic, questions, republicans, president, 2016
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2015-22-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 05:22 PM
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