Journalist Mark Halperin issued a formal apology Monday after drawing criticism for a cringe-worthy television interview with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
Halperin, the managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and host of the “All Due Respect” show, acknowledged in his apology that some of the questions to Cruz about his Cuban heritage during a recent interview were “inappropriate.”
“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 wrote in a statement posted online. “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.”
The San Jose Mercury News drew attention to the interview on Bloomberg TV, where Halperin asked Cruz to name his favorite Cuban food and music and to answer a question in Spanish.
Critics on both the left and right accused Halperin of awkwardly asking Cruz, whose father is Cuban, to prove his Hispanic bonafides. Halperin denies that accusation.
“I rushed through the questions, and that was a mistake — it led to poor tone and timing,” he said Monday. “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.”
Added Halperin: “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.”