Chris Matthews Not Sure If Cruz, Rubio Really Hispanic; They're 'Cuban Nationals' Though

According to Chris Matthews, it's uncertain whether the term Hispanic can properly be used to describe GOP presidential aspirants Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Florida). It's better to say they are "Cuban nationals," offered the Hardball host on his Nov. 11 program.

Matthews's remarks came during a roundtable discussion in which Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel was outlining how she believes Cruz will seek to paint fellow Cuban-American Rubio as too moderate for the party's nomination:

Nov. 11, 2015; 7:44 p.m. Eastern

AMANDA TERKEL: started to see in the debate last night where they drew more contrasts on policy, starting to preview a little bit more –

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Who's out to get who?

TERKEL: Uh, I think Ted Cruz. You already saw he's starting to get Marco Rubio. Didn't call him out by name but started to preview, you know, you don't want someone's who's soft on immigration, you don't want someone supporting sugar subsidies, for example. So, Trump and Carson, they didn't go after each other. But –

MATTHEWS: Sugar subsidies are worthy of a presidential debate now.

TERKEL: – it's going to get nastier.

MATTHEWS: I couldn't believe that last night.

TERKEL: I was surprised it was mentioned too, but, you know, he is clearly watching Rubio.

MATTHEWS: So you're trying to insinuate that Marco Rubio, a fellow, uh, 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 is still basically for what he calls amnesty?

TERKEL: I think he is. And, I mean Rubio got very, very lucky last night in that he did not have to jump into the immigration debate. He skated by, he got some slightly easier questions. And you saw Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Donald Trump get in there on immigration. But Rubio didn't have to do it, but he's going to have to, obviously.

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Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.