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. Former Lifelong Republican supporting Obama, Columbia, TN

    I just cannot stand Republicans anymore. They make me sick. The only ones left are the extreme right-wing, hypocritical, hyperreligious nuts that don't serve any platform to stand on. I just wish they would all get thrown out by the people they "represent".

    February 23, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. DJ

    Well, he IS right for the most part. Sheesh. Not particularly tactful, but right nonetheless.

    February 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. joey from san diego


    February 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Matthew, Detroit

    Yeah Too bad.

    The guy spoke out and it was a very impolite and lacked any sympathy.

    That being said he did not do it on purpose and it was a slip.

    He is an unfeeling PRikk but that does not make him a bad person.

    IF he was (stupid =EVIL) than you would have to shoot Joe Biden Now.

    February 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    As usual, a mouth without a brain attached, Republican.. Doesn't care who he hurts as long as he gets something out of his mouth in the news.. Just spell his name right so we know who to vote against the next election.

    February 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. alvino


    You should get professional help for your 'marxist phobia ' condition.

    February 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Matthew, Detroit


    He did not WISH anyone dead.


    But don't make things up. That is the problem with media, blogging, and the general news. People exaggerate everything. Give an opinion but dont make a false statement.

    February 23, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Otto

    I hope Sen. Jim Bunning has a bad case of foot and mouth; like a cow or another animal.

    February 23, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Actually, as I recall, the recent presidential election was called one of the most important in recent memory because a few of the Supreme Court justices were not expected to serve out the next four years.
    I don't need an apology because I wasn't offended. If his comments are accurate about pancreatic cancer, then he's dealing with an unpleasant reality. Others would prefer a Republican be politically correct but I'm sure a lot of people said the same thing upon hearing the news about her; but your watercooler conversation won't be broadcast. And I dont' believe Bunning thought his comments would be thrown in Ginsburg's face and characterized in a mean context.

    February 23, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Griff............... on The Truth...

    So you should mister. She is an asset, not a Past. yet. Bless you Lady!

    February 23, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Dave

    Crazy Cat Lady, you are 100 percent right on. I HATE these people do give the "I'm sorry if you were offended" apology, which, of course, isn't an apology.

    February 23, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. JJ

    Bunning has been losing it for years. Its amazing that the people of Kentucky continue to elect him. it must be for his athletic past; it can't be for his current work.

    February 23, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Griff............... on The Truth...

    Choice of words. Bless you!

    February 23, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. scott

    It is fascinating watching these idiots driving into walls over and over again.

    All things being equal - the GOP should self extinguish in one or two more election cycles. Maybe the rest of us can then get down to trying to take care of the national interest.

    February 23, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. michael

    This guy's an idiot – he doesn't deserve re-election if he can't keep his mouth shut.

    February 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Roland in St George, UT

    Thank you to Justice Ginsburg for her service to our country.

    February 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. alvino

    In Kentucky, I think you can buy votes for republicans with pills or Mountain Dew. I am sure his seat will be safe.

    February 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. debbie

    That idiots like this keep getting elected makes me wonder about the intellectual capacity of their constituents.

    February 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. J.Crobuzon

    How very unchristian of him to say that. Oh, wait. He's Republican, not Christian, my bad.

    February 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    This guy is a joke. Republicans are some of the nastiest people alive.

    February 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. WhoCares?

    This is why a vast amount of Americans are just getting sick and tired on being lectured about "Christian morals and values" from the right.

    February 23, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Fred C Dobbs

    The comments of Jim Bunning say more about the state of Kentucky than of Bunning.

    Crude, insensitve and thoughtless.

    No doubt he will be re-elected.

    February 23, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Bud in NC

    Bunning says he is a Christian. There are people who say they are Nopolean, the fairy godmother, generous hearted, ..........the list goes on. Saying it is so, does not make it so. Its what yor do, not what you say that gives you away. Bunning is a hypocrit and as un-Christian as they come.

    February 23, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. dotjet

    @ Rick "Not to worry . . . I'm sure Obama has one of his Marxist friends cued up to take her place"

    Do you really even know the definition of a Marxist??? In fact, ALL of you people who like to throw out references to marxist, communist, socialist, etc with respect to President Obabma . . . do you REALLY have a clue as to what those terms mean? You know, they're all different ideaologies. I'd be really interested in hearing what you think the meaning is, the next time you throw one of those terms out there!

    February 23, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Matthew, Detroit


    She believes in lowering the age of consent to 13.

    She believes in abortion.

    Hey clown make me a balloon.

    Look guys dont go off on your rants too far left or too far right.

    The guy was talking replacement while the body was still warm. It definitely lacks tack and empathy but it was a foot in mouth moment that everyone has. He should be better than that but dong kill him too much for it.

    Why dont we all learn (myself included) to talk through the issue and not just react.

    February 23, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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