Note to Chris Matthews: When you dismiss two Republican presidential candidates as "Cubans," the largest Cuban-American community in the country might take offense. Starting with its mayor.
Carlos Gimenez, the Cuban-born Republican mayor of Miami-Dade County, wrote the MSNBC anchor Thursday to object to Matthews' comment earlier this week that Thursday night's GOP primary debate would be boring without Donald Trump.
"Who's going to watch a debate between the two Cuban guys?" Matthews said on his Hardball show Tuesday night.
He was referring to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Neither is Gimenez's candidate -- he's backing Jeb Bush -- but the mayor nevertheless told Matthews he was "deeply offended."
"Your comments displayed bigotry and ignorance about nationality and what it means to be an American in the 21st century," Gimenez wrote. "Politics aside, Senators Cruz and Rubio are both highly qualified Presidential candidates. They are Americans. Period. And your questioning of their heritage (American, Hispanic or otherwise) is unbecoming and frankly unacceptable in this day and age -- especially of someone in your position."
Gimenez, who's running for reelection this fall, didn't ask Matthews to respond. Matthews apologized on air Thursday. ("I'm sorry I said it. I mean it," he said.)
"I don't expect you to retract your commentary or apologize," Gimenez concluded, "but I hope that my words have at least made you reconsider your antiquated and appalling remarks."
This post has been updated to note Matthews' apology.