[Author’s note: Scroll down to the bottom of this story to see important updates.]
CNBC’s Steve Liesman made an offhand crack Tuesday about freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and “Mexican music” that has some saying he went too far.
“We’re going to call this the Senator Ted Cruz jobs report,” Liesman said in reference to Tuesday’s unemployment report. “These are the jobless claims of Senator Ted Cruz.”
An image of Cruz appeared on the CNBC studio screens, prompting Liesman to say, “Can we get some music to go along with that? Some Mexican music, maybe?”
Shortly thereafter, some upbeat music started playing (though it’s unclear exactly what it was). Cruz is of Cuban descent.
Here’s a more complete version:
Liesman’s decision to refer to the September jobs report as the “Ted Cruz jobs report” is curious. The host is presumably blaming the report’s poor showing on the partial government shutdown inspired by the Texas senator. However, the shutdown lasted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16. The jobs report released Tuesday covers September.
A CNBC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.
UPDATE 10/23/13, 12:00 pm ET — CNBC’s Steve Liesman has issued a formal apology for the “Mexican music” crack:
Regarding my recent remark on Squawk Box regarding Senator Ted Cruz, I first want to deeply and sincerely apologize if my remarks were insensitive.
Second, I want to explain that it was not intended to be offensive in any way.
I thought of him only as an American senator from Texas, and in an attempt, on the fly, to choose music representing that state, I chose Mexican music.
As a musician for many decades, I’ve played and listened to tons of Texas songs infused with Mexican themes. A better choice would have been Country/Western or Texas Roadhouse Blues — it was a bad reach all the way around.
And in case you were wondering, Glenn Beck was furious Wednesday when he found out about the Liesman “Mexican music” comment and addressed it on his radio show:
(H/T: Truth Revolt)
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