MSNBC regular Donny Deutsch on Wednesday apologized, via Twitter, for deriding Republican senatorial hopeful Marco Rubio as a "coconut," a racial slur which the New York Times defines as "being brown on the outside and white on the inside." (Rubio's parents are Cuban exiles.) Over two Tweets, Deutsch announced, "In discussing Mr. Rubio, I used a word intended to describe his inexperience on the national stage."
The former CNBC host continued, "I now realize the word has connotations as an ethnic slur, & is therefore inappropriate. I apologize to Mr. Rubio & to anyone else I have offended." As first reported, with video, on NewsBusters, Deutsch employed the term on Monday's Joy Behar Show while deriding Rubio as inexperienced. He complained, "...You almost need that blank piece of paper. That's the new model. Like, you know, this coconut Rubio down in Florida."
On Tuesday evening, Deutsch first attempted to clarify his meaning, again via Twitter: "I said 'coconut' meaning simple, goofy, bananas...wasn't even aware it could be a racially charged word."