LA Mayor Candidate Rick Caruso Says He's 'Italian' When Called White Man In Debate

"That's Latin, thank you," Caruso said in what appeared to be an attempt to align his heritage with the Los Angeles Latino community.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso raised eyebrows Tuesday when he corrected a debate moderator who called him a “white man.” (Watch the video below.)

“I’m Italian,” the billionaire developer retorted to chuckles. “That’s Latin, thank you.”

Caruso added that he felt “connected” to the Latino community, but “quite frankly, my job is to connect with every community,” The Daily Beast reported.

Caruso, a Democrat, was “seeming to suggest a link between his heritage and much of the city’s population,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. (Italy has a Latin language heritage, but the term Latino generally refers to Americans with Latin American roots — not European.)

Some observers on Twitter weren’t buying it.

“Can’t wait for Rick Caruso to claim Columbus was a Latino immigrant,” writer Nick Jack Pappas commented.

Caruso’s office did not immediately reply to a HuffPost request for comment.

Caruso trails U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D) by a narrowing gap, according to a recent poll. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have endorsed Bass.

Here are some other reactions to Caruso’s comments:

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