Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin may not be the world’s best interviewer — but he might be the world’s most condescending.
In a week-old interview that has only recently garnered buzz thanks to a column in the San Jose Mercury News, Halperin essentially demands that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz prove he is connected to his Hispanic heritage.
During the interview, Halperin says he wants to ask a series of questions to determine whether Cruz has “an affinity for or a connection to” his “Cuban past.”
He asks Cruz if he has a favorite Cuban food. When the senator starts to answer that he ate Cuban food all the time growing up, Halperin interrupts and tells the senator that he needs specifics. “What’s your favorite dish?” Halperin demands.
Halperin then moves on to see if Cruz has a favorite Cuban singer. To close the interview, he asks Cruz to welcome Sen. Bernie Sanders to the presidential race — in Spanish.
There is a way to ask how important someone’s culture is to them. Halperin demonstrated how not to do it. But since Halperin will likely be interviewing all of the 2016 contenders in the weeks and months ahead, here are 10 more totally outrageous Halperin-esque questions that may soon unfortunately be asked:
1.) “Dr. Carson, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your African-American heritage. Can you tell us how you celebrate Martin Luther King’s Day and who your favorite rapper is? Also, if you could doctor, Sen. Sanders recently entered the presidential race, would you welcome him to the competition — in jive.”
2.) “Gov. Jindal, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your Indian heritage considering you do not sport a dot on your head. Has anyone in your family ever owned a 7-11?”
3.) “Gov. Christie, I want to ask you a question you can’t refuse. I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your Sicilian heritage. Have you ever participated in a mafia hit?”
4.) “Hola, Sen. Rubio. I’m curious how important your Cuban heritage is to you. How good are you at rafting?”
5.) “Mr. Trump, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your Scottish heritage. Can you say in your best Scottish accent, ‘They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom?’”
6.) “Ms. Fiorina, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to being a woman. How often do you watch Lifetime and what is your favorite show? I need a specific show, my dear.”
And if Halperin chooses to hold the Democratic contenders to the same line of interrogation:
7.) “Sec. Clinton, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to being a woman. Do you know how to cook and what is your favorite dish to prepare for you husband? Come on secretary, I need a favorite dish.”
8.) “Shalom Sen. Sanders, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your Jewish heritage. Do you have a favorite Jackie Mason joke and Seinfeld episode?”
9.) “Top of the morning to you, Gov. O’Malley. I hope you had a bowl of Lucky Charms to start the day. But I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your Irish heritage. Will you do the Riverdance for us right now?”
10.) “Sen. Webb, I’m curious how deep a connection you have to your Scotch-Irish heritage. Are you sober?”
Mark Halperin issued a press release Monday explaining his line of questioning, which you will find in full below:
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.