Former Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson clarified, but did not apologize for his comments questioning Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s status as a Hispanic because he opposes immigration reform.
In a letter to Cruz Monday, Richardson said he meant no disrespect with the comments, but did not apologize, the website New Mexico Watchdog reported.
Read the letter:
When I said wasn’t a fan, I meant no disrespect.
Secondly, like me, I think you should not be defined just as a Hispanic politician.
That’s what I meant.
This is a clarification and not an apology.
All the best,
Richardson followed up that letter with an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Studio B with Shepard Smith” to further explain what he meant.
“That was a misunderstanding,” Richardson said. “I said that he shouldn’t be defined as a Hispanic. I’m a Hispanic. I don’t define myself just as a Hispanic. So, that was misinterpreted.”
But in the next hour on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Cruz downplayed Richardson’s criticisms.
“Well, I don’t know Gov. Richardson,” Cruz said. “He and I have not met. He is certainly entitled to his positions and his opinions. In my view, if people are insulting you, if they are attacking your ethnicity — that tends to indicate that they don’t actually want to engage in the substantive merits of the argument, and I certainly have no interest in getting into a mud-slinging battle on that front. What we need to be talking about is the substance of the argument and in particular we need to be focusing on economic growth that enables more and more people to climb the economic ladder and reach the American dream.”
Cavuto pressed Cruz even further on Richardson remarks, pointing out Richardson’s “clarification” in the previous hour. But Cruz continued to deflect.
“He is entitled to his opinions,” Cruz said. “My focus is on the substance of what works and matters. And you know, Neil, I think most Americans don’t care about petty political squabbles in Washington. What they care about is leaders in both parties who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the problems.”