Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has suggested that President Barack Obama is not a "real black president."
The 84-year-old billionaire said in a tweet late Wednesday that Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson would give the U.S. "a real black president who can properly address the racial divide."
The American-Australian business magnate tweeted an apology Thursday — 12 hours after the original message — saying there was "no offence meant" and that he found "both men charming," presumably referring to Obama and Carson.
Murdoch's tweet praised Carson, the only African-American running in the 2016 race, and his wife, Candy, as "terrific," shortly after promoting the nominee's appearance on "The Kelly File" on his Fox News Channel.
The message sparked controversy on Twitter. Simpsons star Harry Shearer was among dozens who asked Murdoch to explain his remark.
Murdoch and his family boast a net worth of $12.1 billion and control 120 newspapers in five countries, according to Forbes.
Nathaniel Brown, spokesman for 21st Century Fox, the media giant co-chaired by Murdoch, said in an emailed response to NBC News: "We don't comment on his tweets."