Matthews Apologizes for 'Two Cubans' Crack About Cruz, Rubio

January 28th, 2016 7:23 PM

This evening on his Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews apologized on air for a remark he made the other night about nobody wanting to watch "two Cuban guys" debate in tonight's GOP presidential debate.

As my colleague Mark Finkelstein reported on Tuesday night, Matthews snarled that no one would really tune in to the GOP debate in Trump's absence because the only draw were Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, just "two Cuban guys."

Tonight Matthews offered an apology on air right after his first segment. While credit is due for the on-air apology, I'll leave it to you to judge his sincerity. Matthews has not, to date, for example, apologized for calling Marco Rubio Sheldon Adelson's "sock puppet," a comment which is both denigratory to Rubio and arguably is an anti-Semitic dig at the Jewish GOP donor by envisioning him as a puppet master.

Below are the video and transcript:

January 28, 2016; 7:13 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Serious note now, before I break, I want to deal with a matter that is entirely my fault.

Two nights ago, I said that ratings were going to suffer in tonight's Republican debate with Donald Trump not there. I said that a debate focused on the other top contenders, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio wouldn't be the same draw. I referred to them as “the two Cuban guys.”

Well, it had nothing to do with the point I was making, it came up as condescending, even derogatory. It sounded like I was putting them down because of their background.

It was raw and insensitive and not just to the good Cuban-American people out there watching who heard about it, who have found freedom and pride in this country, its important groups out there, which I respect, have called me on it, and have been right to do so.

I’m sorry I said it. That’s it. I mean it.

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