(CNN) – After catching some flak for slyly calling Iran's president a monkey on Twitter Monday, Sen. John McCain wondered what the fuss was about.
Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 04, 2013
Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?
That was after he took this swipe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said Monday he wants to be the first Iranian astronaut in space.
So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week? "Iran launches monkey into space" news.yahoo.com/iran-launches-…— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 04, 2013
So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week? "Iran launches monkey into space" news.yahoo.com/iran-launches-…
That prompted backlash on Twitter, including from Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican.
Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes. "@SenJohnMcCain: Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?"— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) February 04, 2013
Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes. "@SenJohnMcCain: Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?"
McCain was linking to an article from last week on Iran's attempt to launch a primate into space. According to official Iranian news reports, the monkey was strapped snugly into a Pishgam (or Pioneer) rocket and launched 120 kilometers (75 miles) into the sky on Monday.
Iran said the move represented its latest bid to join the space race, though Iran's foes fear the real aim may be to test missile launching capabilities for less peaceful purposes.
The monkey returned back to Earth sometime later, looking shell-shocked but alive as a crowd of men along the desert ground rejoiced, video from state-run Press TV showed.
Since then, media reports have cast doubt on Iran's version of their launch, citing two different photos of the monkey that was purportedly blasted into space.
McCain has never been shy about his opposition to Iran's regime, often using jokes. During his 2008 bid for president, he memorably changed the lyrics to "Barbara Ann" to "Bomb Iran" during a campaign appearance.
CNN's Greg Botelho and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
how is it racist ... if you believe in races (White, Asian, Black) ... how was McCain being racist by calling another male a monkey?
I agree. The man does resemble a monkey (he's always reminded me of Curious George, just not as cute). I can't see anywhere in McCain's tweet where he said that Iranians or anyone else of middle eastern descent are monkeys.
I'm not at all a fan of McCain, his politics, or especially his judgement, but I have to give him credit for his sense of humor. After all, Ahmadinejad IS a joke in the overall scheme of things. Was the tweet appropriate for a US Senator to make? No, perhaps not. But I can't agree with calling it racist.
Just ignore this senile dude. At that age brain will not function. You are excused. Stay in the sun-room.
A major, prominent, powerful and influential "leader" who was actually in the running to become the president of our country, which has a military budget larger than the next 20+ countries COMBINED, mouths off like this and you wonder why these people think they need nukes? Why they might be somewhat justified in thinking "oh crap, look what they did to Iraq and we're obviously next on their agenda"? Right.
I'll say it again: the ONLY thing that will stop Iran from eventually developing nukes is getting them to stop WANTING to develop nukes. Fat chance of that happening while people like Songbird McMouth are allowed to speak on behalf of our country.
Not a fan of McCain but, this is just idìótic. How was that racist? He called him a monkey....wow. Get a grip, people.
I haven't cut McCain much slack lately, not after that joke he played on America by naming Palin as his running mate.....but I have to give him a pass on this one. I'm fine with anyone that wants to make a monkey out of the Iranian nut job.
How is calling that nut job in Iran a monkey racist?.
He was just joking, kinda like Osama Bin Laden joked about 'flying Casper the friendly ghost' when watching video of Americans jumping to their deaths after 9/11.
That was a funny joke also, right?
It's time for him to go. Last thing this country needs is a US Senator antagonizing the leader of a country who would like nothing more than a war with us. On any normal job, he would have been forced to retire a long time ago.
Nuke Iran bulldoze it over, wipe it clean and start over with human beings this time.
@Sly...your (lack of) knowledge of what McCain did or dd not do in Vietnam only underscores the obvious....that you are a troll without any interest in the facts. Back under your little rock until it's time to collect your next govt.-issued check.
Thank you Yolanda for educating me that McCain's B52-s were just dropping napalm on the women and children of Vietnam to help keep them warm.
For a second I mistakenly thought the dude was spraying chemical weapons to hurt people there.
Dear Mr. McCain, let’s concentrate in solving our economical problems that making raciest jokes. After choosing Sarah Palin as your running mate we all know you could be hilarious.
He's not a racist. Some of his best friends are monkeys.
What on earth was racist about that?? The problem is, that not to many people seem to know what the word racist means.
Rich man's war and poor man's fight. No to war with Iran, a country of 80 million people. We were defeated in Iraq a country of 29 million people.
Ahmadinejad is a monkey. There, I said it. Call me a racist! :) Have a nice day!
As an Iranian, I find Senator McCain's comments to be of good humor. If he said "wasn't there an Iranian there last week" that might have been racist. Not "wasn't he there already last week". He was referring to Ahmadinejad, not Iranians. We Iranians already call him a monkey and make fun of him as one (although I think that is disrespectful to monkeys all around the world).
So John McCain makes another clueless comments – what else is new?
I think McCain's comment was funny because I do not like Ahmadinejad. Nevertheless, it was unwise of him to make such a remark.
Sen.McCain only voiced what many, if not most, Americans were thinking. The reference was to a single person and not to an entire race. Had someone said the same thing about Sen. McCain or any other conservative, nothing would have said. This reaction to a simple joke about a man who is a sworn enemy of the United States is nothing less than the hobbling of the 1st Amendment through out-of-control political correctness. People can no longer express themselves, lest they be guilty of offending another person!
No fan of McCain but... this is not an issue worth any fuss.
I can picture Ahmejinidad in a TV commercial running around barefoot, dressed in a diaper or a pair of overalls, screaching at the top of his lungs whilst eating a banana. Only problem is he lacks the cuteness factor.
who cares if he calls this clown a monkey. Not racist at all... we are talking Iran! they are just as animalistic as monkeys if not more!!!
McCain = redundant and obsolete
Too bad McCain has lost it. He use to be a man of integrity, but I guess now he is trying to be a mouth peace for the tea party and the rest of the angry hate filled ultra righter's.