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McCain Takes A Big Swipe At Long Island; Schumer Calls Them Fighting Words

Political Titans Go At It Over What Ex-Presidential Candidate Calls 'A Joke'
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Sen. Chuck  Schumer (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images); Sen. John  McCain (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images); Sen. John McCain (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain likely won’t be vacationing on Long Island any time soon.

Not after what he said Wednesday, and certainly not as a guest of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

McCain, R-Ariz., was trying to make a point during debate on a defense bill Wednesday when he said to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., “Last I checked, Long Island was part — albeit sometimes regrettably — part of the United States of America.”

That drew a swift rebuke from Democrat Schumer, who took to Twitter to demand an apology.

“All of America saw how heroic Long Islanders were on 9/11. Long Island deserves an apology,” Schumer tweeted.

McCain then stood on the Senate floor to explain it was a joke apologized to Schumer — sort of.

“In an exchange here on the floor … I mentioned the wonderful long people — wonderful Long Island, I made a joke,” McCain said. “I’m sorry. 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.”

That only seemed to annoy Schumer more.

“NYers can take a joke. But if Sen. John McCain wants to mock parts of America, stick to Arizona.”

Schumer later said of McCain: “I don’t think he meant it to be malicious, but I didn’t want to let it go unanswered.”

What do you think? Do McCain’s words bug you? Sound off below …

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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