Bill Richardson Says Ted Cruz Should Not Be 'Defined as a Hispanic,' Then Unsuccessfully Tries to Explain It Away

In a web interview after his appearance on ABC's “This Week” yesterday, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who suddenly withdrew after being nominated by President Barack Obama to be his first Secretary of Commerce in 2009, was asked the following about freshman U.S. Senator Ted Cruz: "Do you think he represents most Hispanics with his politics?"

His answer (video is at link) follows the jump:


“No, no. He’s anti-immigration. Almost every Hispanic in the country wants to see immigration reform. No, I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic. He’s a politician from Texas. A conservative state. And I respect Texas’ choice. But what I don’t like is… when you try to get things done, it’s okay to be strong and state your views, your ideology. But I’ve seen him demean the office, be rude to other senators, not be part of, I think, the civility that is really needed in Washington.”

Clearly and in full context, Richardson was trying to claim that Cruz is not a "real" Hispanic because he's not on board with so-called illegal immigration "reform," which the Heritage Foundation has estimated would cost the country a net after taxes collected of $6.4 trillion over the next 50 years -- and that assessment appears to assume that the border will become secure, which isn't going to happen as long as the Washington establishment continues to handle border enforcement as it has during the past 27 years.

Well-deserved outrage has followed Richardson's remark -- but only in the center-right blogosphere at outlets like Hot Air, Breitbart.com, and American Thinker.

The Associated Press has nothing. Nor does the New York Times.

Nonetheless, Richardson felt the need to pretend to back away without apologizing today:

SHEPARD SMITH: Over the weekend, you said that the freshman senator out of Texas, Ted Cruz, shouldn’t be able to call himself Hispanic. What was that?

RICHARDSON: No, that was a misunderstanding. I said that he shouldn’t be defined as a Hispanic. I’m a Hispanic. I don’t define myself just as a Hispanic, so that was misinterpreted.

Nice try, no sale, pal. Richardson's original statement, as Rick Moran at American Thinker noted, communicated the following:

What exactly is Richardson saying?

Ted Cruz is cannot be defined as Hispanic because a) he doesn't support immigration reform, and b) he's a meany.

In other words, Cruz does not support the Democratic agenda; ergo, he is not Hispanic. In Ricahrdson's view, heritage means nothing; politics trumps genes. This isn't identity politics as we've come to know and love it. This is a special kind of bigotry that redefines heritage in order to score political points - as cynical and bigoted as any right winger who hates "wetbacks."

Exactly. It's the same "you can't be a legitimate woman or African-American if you're conservative" crap we've been hearing for decades from the left -- now applied by a bigoted Hispanic (Richardson) to one who isn't (Cruz).

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.