Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s Hardball political show, is apparently having a hard time accepting that U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are Hispanic.
Both lawmakers, who are running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and are rising in the polls, are of Hispanic heritage, however.
In an MSNBC roundtable following the GOP debate on the Fox Business Channel, Huffington Post reporter Amanda Terkel was explaining to Matthews that Cruz is and will be attempting to distinguish himself from Rubio on the subject of illegal immigration.
Although he now disavows it, Rubio originally supported the so-called Gang of Eight bill that Cruz and many others claim contained enough loopholes such that it amounted to open-borders amnesty.
Matthews, an acknowledged liberal who is pushing age 70 and whose wife Kathleen Matthews is running for Congress as a Democrat, responded, “Is he trying to insinuate that Marco Rubio, a fellow Spanish surname–I’m not sure the right word is Hispanic for them. Because they are Cuban nationals or whatever, or come from Cuba. But, uh, is he going to insinuate that he’s still basically for what he calls amnesty?”
Famous for admitting that Barack Obama’s speeches gives him a thrill up his leg, Matthews appears fundamentally wrong about the background of both men. “Neither Rubio nor Cruz was born in Cuba. Rubio was born in Miami, Florida, to Cuban immigrants, while Cruz, whose father is also from Cuba, was born in Canada. He later renounced his Canadian citizenship when he decided to run for president,” the Washington Free Beacon explained.
“The U.S. Census Bureau defines ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino’ to refer to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race,” the Washington Times noted.
Matthews’ remarks may have reflected an ideological play in that apparently to his way of thinking, all Hispanics must also be liberal Democrats. “This belief that the Hispanic community is in favor of illegal immigration is false. It’s just not true, Hispanic communities are deeply impacted by illegal immigration,” Sen. Rubio said on the TODAY show yesterday morning, however, in reference to just one public policy issue among many that has no monolithic demographic underpinning.
You may also recall that Bloomberg political reporter Mark Halperin had to apologize in May for probing Ted Cruz’s Cuban “authenticity” in what many observers across the political spectrum considered a very condescending if not offensive interview with the senator that may also have been ideologically driven.
Cruz, Rubio are Americans of Cuban descent; Cuban-Americans are Hispanic; Chris Matthews– no authority on Hispanics https://t.co/maGktnNhP4
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 12, 2015
In the alternative, HotAir.com suggested that Matthews may have been playing the birther card.
“Neither Rubio nor Cruz ‘come from Cuba,’ nor are they Cuban nationals; they’re both American nationals. They have parents who come from Cuba, but Rubio was born here, and Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was a natural-born US citizen. It would be very, very difficult to believe that Matthews is unaware of a small coterie of activists who claim that neither candidate is eligible for the presidency because of the circumstances of their births, and it certainly appears as though Matthews is trying to troll that issue as a way to damage Rubio and Cruz.”
— BT (@back_ttys) November 12, 2015
Citing Matthews’ MSNBC discourse, the Beacon added that “Matthews has shown a predilection for discomfort with non-white Republicans while covering the 2016 race.” He also has a track record of accusing Obama foes of racism, the website noted.
Chris Matthews is a bigot. https://t.co/DBAKx04jmd
— Henry Lou Babalú (@HenryLGomez) November 12, 2015
When it comes to matters of race, the late radio talk show pioneer Bob Grant often maintained that liberals are the ultimate hypocrites. Moreover, MSNBC has a certain history of racially or ethnically charged remarks that prompted numerous on-air apologies, as the Inquisitr has previously detailed.
Separately, over the summer, the low-rated network cancelled The Cycle, The Ed Show, and Now with Alex Wagner because of poor viewership. The Rev. Al Sharpton’s program was moved to the weekend, and it previously axed Ronan Farrow’s show from the afternoon schedule. The changes to the network have been implemented as NBC News chief Andrew Lack is trying to change the daytime lineup from a liberal perspective to a more straightforward news and politics source to offset its declining ratings, the Inquisitr previously reported.
As far as Chris Matthews questioning the ethnicity of GOP presidential hopefuls Rubio and Cruz, “Word to the wise, Matthews: It’s not up to you to decide how other people identify,” the Miami New Times asserted.
[Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images]