(CNN) - Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin apologized Tuesday for any misunderstanding that resulted when she referred last week to the patriotic values of "the real America" and the "pro-America areas of this great nation."
Democrats and others immediately criticized Palin, alleging she was saying that some part of the country are more patriotic than others.
Palin denied that was her intention in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
"I don't want that misunderstood," Palin said. "If that's the way it came across, I apologize."
Speaking at a fund-raiser in North Carolina, the Alaska governor said: "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation."
Palin also said Tuesday that Sen. Joe Biden's comment that as president, Sen. Barack Obama would face an international crisis within six months of taking office points to the dangers of electing a relatively inexperienced person.
"We need to thank Joe for the warning," Palin told CNN's Drew Griffin.
She made similar comments earlier Tuesday at a rally in Reno, Nevada.
At a fundraiser Sunday night, Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, said that after taking office, "it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. ... We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
His point, according to an Obama-Biden statement issued later, was that "we need steady leadership in tumultuous times, not ... the stubborn ideology of John McCain."