The Washington Post

McCain jokes about Long Island; not funny, says Schumer

(Chip Somodevilla/GETTY IMAGES)

A joke Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cracked during a freewheeling Senate debate Wednesday night drew a stern rebuke from across the aisle as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) took to Twitter to demand an apology.

The subject of the joke?

Long Island.

During a heated debate over detainee policy, McCain responded to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) regarding the case of a terror suspect captured on the isle just east of Manhattan.

“Last I checked, Long Island was part — albeit sometimes regrettably — part of the United States of America,” McCain said.

That prompted a swift response from New York’s senior senator.

“All of America saw how heroic Long Islanders were on 9/11,” Schumer tweeted to McCain on Wednesday night. “#LongIsland deserves an apology.”

A short while later on the Senate floor, McCain offered up an apology – of sorts.

“I’m sorry that there’s at least one of my colleagues that can’t take a joke, and so I apologize if I offended him and hope that someday he will have a sense of humor,” he said

Apology accepted? Maybe so, but not without a shot from Schumer back at McCain.

“NYers can take a joke,” the Democrat tweeted. “But if @SenJohnMcCain wants to mock parts of America, stick to Arizona.”

From this blogger’s perspective, at least for once it wasn’t New Jersey as the butt of the joke.


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