Bill Richardson: Ted Cruz Shouldn't Be Defined As Hispanic

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Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson wants to revoke Sen. Ted Cruz’s Hispanic credentials.

When asked during an interview with ABC News on Sunday if he thought the Texas Republican’s politics represent most Hispanics, Richardson said:

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.

Cruz identifies as Hispanic and his father is Cuban but, as a white Hispanic with a southern drawl and a Tea Party support base, he also faced attacks on his Latinidad on the campaign trail.

Gilbert Hinojosa, the Democratic Party chairman for the state of Texas, told the Houston Chronicle in an interview in October:

His last name may be Cruz, but there is nothing, not an ounce, about the way he thinks and the way he has led his life than in any way is similar to Hispanics in the state of Texas and all across America… Ted Cruz is as much Hispanic… as Tom Cruise.

Some 88 percent of the 9.5 million Latinos in Texas are Mexican American who tend to vote liberal and favor immigration reform. Those positions don’t much jibe with the stridently right-wing Cruz, whose campaign did not focus on Latino voters.

But as we’ve noted before, Ted Cruz’s conservatism and concern about people he views as Communists are not inherently un-Latino. In fact, these views are quite common among South Florida’s Cuban-American community.

After calling into question Cruz’s ethnic identification, Richardson called for less insults and more civility in Washington.

What do you think of Ted Cruz's Hispanic roots? Let us know in the poll below and in the comments.

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