(CNN) - GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona apologized Wednesday night for taking a dig at Long Island, prompting Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York to quickly bite back.
"Isn't it true that Justice (Sandra Day) O'Connor was specifically referring to a person who was captured on Long Island? Last I checked, Long Island was part – albeit sometimes regrettably – part of the United States of America," McCain said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
He made the joke while discussing a Supreme Court case during a Senate debate about detainee policies.
But to one (rather influential) New Yorker, McCain's snark about the island, home to more than 3 million people, wasn't that funny.
Sen. Schumer quickly fired off on Twitter: "All of America saw how heroic Long Islanders were on 9/11. #LongIsland deserves an apology."
About 50 minutes later, a reluctant McCain returned to the Senate floor and took the microphone.
"In an exchange I had on the floor I mentioned that the wonderful people and the wonderful Long Island, I made a joke," McCain said. "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."
The apology, however, didn't seem to do the trick for Schumer, who again took his disappointment to Twitter.
"NYers can take a joke. But if @SenJohnMcCain wants to mock parts of America, stick to Arizona," he wrote.
- CNN's Joe Von Kanel contributed to this report.
McCain.... the man and the state of AZ that refused to recognize MLK Jr. And he has the nerve to insult Long Island? What a putz!
Whats with Republicans. The hatred they have for fellow Americans is despicable. All their jokes hit at the heart of a person my jokes about Republicans are about their policy not the person.
Ouch. He has a point though. Don't throw stones... especually if your state is being seen as the most racist state in the union and other shinannigans relatend and unrelated to that.
John McCain still hasn't stopped crashing planes; he just does it in Congress instead of Vietnam.
…nothing more important to do, Senators?
This seems to be the GOP's approach when making stupid comments. Just say it was a joke. I guess the GOP is a joke.
McCain is old and has forgotten too much to be in the Senate. When do we start competency tests for candidates to run for office or re-election? Both side have them and both sides need to have some taken away.
After his 2008 presidential campaign, especially the part where he approved Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain has no standing to make jokes about anyone or anything ever again.
nobody seems to know how to apologize anymore. Kindergarten FAIL.
McCain has proven himself ignorant in more ways than one. Arizona and their governor have proved themselves to be a rather ignorant state, period.
mcnasty u cant joke about anybody. u was the biggest fool in 08 to chose a joke like satan palin to be your vp.
McCain is a joke. He threw the presidency by picking Sarah Palin to be his running mate. His guilt leads him to inappropriate speech. Long Island is part of New York. Arizona is part of Mexico.
McCain loves to hear his own voice. If he had anything intelligent to say he'd be President now.
The jokes people tell reveal their true character. Even heroes are flawed.
There's a difference between sarcasm and a joke. That's why we have two words for two different things. Nice move, McCain! Now I remember why I didn't vote for you in 2008. Looking forward to your retirement announcment.
Typical Republican "apology", I'm sorry that you can't take a joke. That's not an apology, it's another insult.
That was not an apology. It is necessary to say "I am sorry" not "learn how to take a joke".
I guess I don't see anything funny in McCain's "joke" either. How is Long Island "sometimes regrettably" still part of the US funny? Now if he had said something along the lines of "unless it snapped off the end of NYC and drifted out to sea" its still part of the US.
Just more proof that America made the right decision when they didn't elect John McCain.
its time that these lifers in politics GO. especially McCain who is bed buddies with obama and his sponsering of rounding up and being able to call anyone a terroist even American citizens. his pow status will no longer work for me, I have little respect for a man that uses his power to steal the American Dream. Vote McCain out too. Look At S.1867 in congress, senators are calling Americans terroists if we disagree with them, THEY WORK FOR US, not that wannabe dictator pobama.
I love Schumer, but his point is invalid if he'll hit back with this Ariona comment.
You want a joke? It's called the GOP.
We people here do not call it Long Island it is Wrong Island where you cannot afford to live and we are represented by clowns like Schumer and McCarthy.
Sure it was just a joke, but it does highlight this Republican idea that there are good Americans and not so good Americans. The good ones, who believe in God, de regulation, lower taxes, and Ronald Reagan, and the not so good ones that might actually question this oversimplified view of the world.
is he still breathing? how?