February 23rd, 2009
04:24 PM ET
13 years ago

Bunning apologizes for Ginsburg comments

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/02/23/ginsburg.scotus/art.ginsberg.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Jim Bunning issued a statement Monday about his recent comments on Justice Ginsburg's health."]
(CNN) – Sen. Jim Bunning apologized Monday for recent comments that suggested Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be dead within a year.

In remarks at a Hardin County Republican Party dinner, the Courier-Journal newspaper reported the Kentucky senator said that pancreatic cancer is "bad cancer. The kind you don't get better from," and that the longest most patients live is nine months after diagnosis, even with surgery.

Bunning - who said he plans to seek re-election next year for a third term - also said he supports conservative judges, and that's going to be an issue very shortly because "Ruth Bader Ginsburg ... has cancer."

“I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsberg (sic),” Bunning in a short statement released Monday. “That certainly was not my intent. It is great to see her back at the Supreme Court today and I hope she recovers quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.”

The Supreme Court announced earlier this month that Ginsburg, the only woman sitting on the high Court, had undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer. She returned to the Court Monday without fanfare and joined her male colleagues in hearing oral arguments.

The health of some members of the nine-member court has been a political topic in recent years. Ginsburg's recent cancer diagnosis has renewed speculation President Obama might soon have an opportunity to name perhaps several justices.

Update 4:24 p.m.: Neither Ginsburg's chambers nor the court had a reaction to Bunning's apology Monday afternoon.

Related: Ginsburg rejoins Court after surgery

–CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Filed under: Popular Posts • Supreme Court
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. JSU-TIGER99

    Why cant we all keep the same job until retirement or til we go the the great beyond. I wish her well but she need to put her health before the job all the JUSTICES need to step down and let some fresh people take over.

    February 23, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Beverly from NC

    This is just another example of the "value-based" Republicans. They don't care about other people – whether a Supreme Court Justice or the average American trying to get by in this Republican-created economic disaster.

    All they care about is PARTY first and cramming their views down the throats of Americans who no longer trust them or believe anything they say anymore.

    Has anyone seen the HBO Doc on "Right America"?? All the people are old white people, not one minority, all screaming religion and God and how a black President is the end to the greatness of America. They are either in evangelical churchs or in trailers with Confederate flags. This is the Republican base! All that was missing was the white hoods and a cross-burning!

    This is the Party who thinks they are in touch with America! They are one sad, backwards, irrelevant, group of extremists who would rather see America fail as a nation than to have a black President be successful.

    It's time to get rid of these scary hypocrite Republicans come mid-term elections next year...starting with Bunning and all the rest ,like our do-nothing NC Senator Richard Burr. We need serious intelligent leaders who care more about the recovery of America than Party rhetoric.

    February 23, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    I guess it will take cancer to remove selfish old lady like her. Why don't these old fools give the younger people the chance to advance? What does she hope to accomplish. There is a time for everything but as liberal as she is......life is infinite. Old fool.

    February 23, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Jeff from Jersey

    I tossed his baseball cards when he was elected.Good pitcher,bad politician and even worse person..

    February 23, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. pete

    As a fellow republican, I'd like to say he is a classless idiot.

    February 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. C W

    "“I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsberg,” Bunning in a short statement released Monday. “That certainly was not my intent."

    Well, Senator Bunning, you're quite the idiot then if you think that what you said was not offensive.

    What is with the Republican Party? All they can offer is voodoo economics and stale, failed ideas; a Presidential ticket consisting of a grumpy old codger and an airhead; taking the country to the brink of financial disaster; complaining about how everyone is against them.
    Talk about a bunch of whiners!

    February 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Florida Joe

    He must be what they refer to as a "compassionate conservative"

    Open mouth insert foot..............

    February 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. David

    Maybe he needs to go instead of Burris everyone knows that is business kill more American than anything else tobacco farmer. He was a great MLB pitcher but that it.

    February 23, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Jim

    I am a Republican, and fairly conservative to boot... but I will in no way defend such a comment! Not in any context!!

    February 23, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. C W

    Bunning and his ilk are why I am a fervert supporter of the separation of Chuch and State. Hey, if it's good enough for the framers of the Constitution – check out the First Amendment – then it's good enough for me!

    If folks like him had their way, we'd all have to participate in their delusional, hypocritical version of Christianity. Thanks, but no thanks!

    February 23, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. C W

    I'm sure Justice Ginsburg will handle Bunning's idiocy just fine. The woman has more integrity, guts, intelligence and class in the tip of her little finger than Bunning will ever have.

    February 23, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. BVO

    .......Just the thought of wishing another human being dead is so unbecoming of a US senator. Only God can forgive you, and you Senator, better get on your knees now.

    February 23, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Andy

    I hope she proves him wrong. God speed Ruth!

    February 23, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Dana from NY

    Back peddling as usual, but he is not sorry- he is just another cold hearted Republican that does not wish her a speedy recovery because then the Republicans can kick up more dust and resistance against President Obama for her replacement... just disgusting!
    Amazing Christians we have in this country huh!

    February 23, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Irrit8edinDenver

    Republicans seems to be chewing on their own toes a lot lately- I'm surprised we haven't seen handlers throwing shoes at them mid-speech to try to stop them from saying something stupid. ("One-armed midgets", are you kidding me?)

    Some advice, Republicans: A lot of you are coming across like blindlfolded kids trying to hit a pinata by flailing around wildly with the stick, hoping you'll get in a lucky hit. We know you lost a big election. We know that's messed up your plans and your perceptions. We know you feel like you've lost a lot of ground and need a new plan to get it back. Stop. Take a breath. Think. Then proceed. Stop flailing around. We'll all be better off for it.

    February 23, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Lillian

    NO MORE CONSERVATIVES!! Why people always elect SCUMBAGS to represent them.

    February 23, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. christi

    @ the idiot: you ARE an idiot...

    February 23, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Conservative Principles

    Not what you'd expect to hear from a "leader" .... alll members of Congress are suppose to be leaders .....

    February 23, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Romney2012

    Screwing up and then either glossing over it, or muttering an apology has worked for Obama...so why not everyone?

    February 23, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. EC

    Sen. Bunning YOU ARE AN IDIOT who should NOT be re-elected for your comment regarding SC Justice Gingsberg!!!

    THIS is what the Republicans call being a GOOD CHRISTIAN!!! GOD is certainly NOT laughing. It was despicable and it was very, very inappropriate coming from a U. S. Senator of all people.

    This is so TYPICAL of Republicans in politics, who think it's acceptable to say or do anything and then wave their "bibles" whenever it's CONVENIENT FOR THEM!!!!

    We need to VOTE these people out of political office. If they are saying these types of things out loud in public, THEY will SAY and DO WORSE behind closed doors.

    February 23, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Doug, New Jersey

    Obama's dream is for him to dig up Karl Marx and put him on the Supreme Court. I guess William Ayers will do for now though.

    February 23, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Mike in Ca

    Oh I'm sure, as evidenced by some comments here already, the right will eventially blame Bunnings comme on "Libs" "Socialists", "Marxist" or some other right wing ignorant talking point that they always spew, while rarely understanding even the definition of those words.

    February 23, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. BVO

    .......Just the thought of wishing another human being dead is so unbecoming of a US senator. Only God can forgive you, and you Senator, better get on your knees now.
    It seems lack of empathy for others has become a true republican trait................... Shame!

    February 23, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. Michael

    I normally don't defend much of what the Repub say and do, but in this case I have to say that I don't think he did anything different than anyone else would have done... the facts are the facts, well at least the stats are the stats... people diagonsed with pancreatic cancer very rarely live long. If this was my mother that had been diagnosed we'd have to have some very frank discussions about the situation and not just bury our head in the sand... prepare for the situation at hand. The truth is that yes, the judge will likely die within the year or at the very least be incapable of performing her duties; which will leave a place open on the bench – – now, much different than the senator probably wishes the outcome to be it won't be a uber-conservative judge – thank God.

    February 23, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. globalgroove

    Kevin in Ohio=sorry excuse for a human being

    February 23, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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