Bloomberg Politics’s Mark Halperin on Monday apologized to Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump in campaign mode at NRA convention Trump’s hands are tied on 9th Circuit Schumer: Trump's handling of North Korea 'all wrong' MORE (R-Texas) for questions during a recent interview that critics have labeled as racist and insensitive.
In the interview, Halperin asked Cruz about his favorite Cuban food and Cuban music. He then asked the Texan to welcome Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders calls for renewed focus on fighting climate change Maher on Obama speaking fee: Isn’t that what cost Clinton the election? NRA head: Sanders 'a political predator' MORE (I-Vt.) into the 2016 race “en Español.”
"Your last name is Cruz and you're from Texas. Just based on that, should you have appeal to Hispanic voters?" Halperin also asked.
“In no way was I asking Senator Cruz to 'prove' he was an 'authentic' Latino,” he said.
“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.”
A column in the San Jose Mercury-News by Ruben Navarrette over the weekend prompted the criticism.
“Watching Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics interview Cruz recently, I wasn't just uncomfortable. I was actually nauseated,” he wrote.
“As a journalist, I felt embarrassed for Halperin. As a Hispanic, I felt like I was watching a college fraternity have fun with racial stereotypes.”
Cruz praised Halperin in a Monday Facebook post as a "serious and fair-minded journalist" who asked "some silly questions."
"The apology was unnecessary — no offense was taken, nor, I believe, intended — but is certainly appreciated," Cruz said.
"I'm proud of my Cuban heritage, my father's journey from oppression and prison in Cuba to freedom in America, and also my Irish-Italian heritage on my mother's side. Both are integral parts of who I am today."
Halperin, co-author of the presidential campaign bestsellers Game Change and Double Down, is no stranger to public controversy.
He had to apologize in 2011 after using strong language on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to criticize President Obama’s performance during a press conference. The network suspended him after the comments.
— Updated at 4:06 p.m.