McCain insults Long Island, Schumer hits back at Arizona
November 30th, 2011
09:41 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain insults Long Island, Schumer hits back at Arizona

(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.

Filed under: Arizona • Charles Schumer • John McCain • New York • Senate
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Republican who supports President Obama

    Very happy he is not our President. He is a joke.

    STRONG ISLAND Represent!

    November 30, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Dita

    Two things:

    1. I'm a diehard liberal, and I think Chuck Schumer is being humorless and overly sensitive.

    2. Everyone knows the place that's regrettably part of America is Texas.

    November 30, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  3. Larry Laguardia

    Whatever happened to the real John McCain. He's even disavowed his own daughter. What a shame about the moderate Republicans – they are now on the extinct list.

    November 30, 2011 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. Maine LIberal

    John how are the arrests and stopping drug traffic and illegals from crossing the arizona border going for you.

    Last I checked, arizona was part – albeit sometimes regrettably – part of the United States of America,"

    November 30, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  5. Ray

    I certainly agree that many, many Long Islander's were heroes on 9/11 and the days there after. But as an ex-Long Islander I agree with Senator McCains sentiments that the place sucks! Weather sucks, over crowded, dirty, run down........blah, blah, blah need I say more?

    November 30, 2011 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  6. strawberry

    My expectations of our politicians is so low, that nothing I read about them anymore surprises me.

    November 30, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  7. Ernest Windschauer

    Although meant as a joke, when John McCain insulted Long Island, he insulted alll the people residing in Brooklyn, Queens,Nassau and Suffolk.

    November 30, 2011 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  8. Gary

    My wife is from Suffolk County, and I've seen the speed limit posted pretty much everywhere I've ever been in my life, but that was the first place I've ever seen the blood alcohol limit posted too. I also never heard of community service being a varsity sport until I visited her high school. Speaking of which, she didn't get the best turnout at her ten year reunion, so I told her not to worry about anyone she missed because most of the rest of her class will probably be out of jail by the twenty year reunion.

    November 30, 2011 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  9. Embarrassed

    These are the petty interactions we are getting from our nation's "finest"? Glad we have entrusted these men (and women) to make major, life-altering decisions on our behalf; they do not even possess the emotional maturity of a teenager. This is just disgusting and embarrassing.

    November 30, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. Gary

    Seriously though, Schumer made himself look like a pandering jerk for responding to a joke by invoking September 11th. I think New Yorker ought to be more offended by that than McCain joking about what a dump Long Island is.

    November 30, 2011 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. Gary

    And by the way Schumer, you're playing the "insensitivity to the horrors of war" card on a guy who spent five years in a POW camp. Think before talking next time.

    December 1, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. CTYank

    McCain can be slow on the uptake. Case in point: mocking any intelligence with Sarah.

    How's that dopey/snarky thing working for you, Sarah? Too bad.

    December 1, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. Hot

    Its no joke. Arizonans dislike new yorkers. Shumer is a toad. Go McCain!

    December 1, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  14. Leon

    Schumer was Anthony Weiner's mentor and that was a really big joke.

    December 1, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  15. johnborg

    Why are these two acting like children news?... why is this part of our political landscape?

    December 1, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  16. zip

    Between this and Palin, ya kinda wish his N. Vietnamese captors would have waterboarded him more.

    December 1, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  17. Norm

    All these fading old men have to do is say something insulting, then apologise for it, to stay in the public eye.
    McCain should really go off into retirement.
    He just comes off as the bitter old man who lost to President Obama.

    December 1, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  18. spare time

    Glad to hear it's party time down on the senate floor. Fortunately there are no pressing problems in america.
    Rick Perry says congess is another part of government to be dismantled. He is wrong as usual, good jokes require the proper institution for development.

    December 1, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  19. Mark Avellian

    Both are correct. 2 armpits.

    December 1, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  20. Flabbergasted

    And McCain wanted to be president? If he can't even apologize for insulting his fellow countrymen, then imagine how he would have managed the pressure of being president. We'd probably be at war with Iran by now.

    December 1, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  21. Ron Paul

    Please explain how it is a joke McCain. Why do you regret that LI is part of the US? Maybe then we can all get it too.

    December 1, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  22. K3Citizen

    Good for Schumer!! McCain is no longer relevant since he lost to the half black guy. He lost all credibility when he chose Palin as his right hand man. McCain and Bush were the reason Obama is where he is today.

    December 1, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  23. M.K.

    If anyone ever wondered why McCain did not get elected in 08 this dumb statement should make it clear.

    December 1, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  24. mfx3

    As long as we have jerks on both sides of the aisle looking to start fights with jerks on the opposite side, we're going to get nothing out of Congress. They're children without an adult to supervise.

    December 1, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  25. txbd8948

    c'mon McCain you're better than that....

    December 1, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
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