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. Rich

    And we PAY these people for this stupidity? Perception here is reality: The members of Congress WE elected are in the 3rd grade, evidently. Glory be!

    December 1, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. Damien

    The biggest joke in AZ in McCain himself.

    December 1, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  3. Robert - Atlanta

    I had respect for McCain when he ran against bush in 2000. But since then he has become a laughing stock after the Palin disaster. He’s just a tired old man with nothing left to say.

    December 1, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. Common Sense

    Bitter old man

    December 1, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. pjwylie

    So, which is the REAL America: Arizona or New York. It's not a hard question when you realize that Arizona wasn't even part of the United States when the Constitution (that so much of the GOP wants to change) was ratified.

    December 1, 2011 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  6. Joshua Ludd

    Can this man discuss a serious topic without making a joke/gaff?

    December 1, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  7. Scott

    Putting aside my distaste for McCain as a politician and a human being in general, I still have to agree with Schumer on this one. I made the mistake of moving out to AZ a few years ago. Only stayed there 5 months before getting the hell out. Absolutely beautiful state filled with absolutely terrible people, at least in Scottsdale area. Not to mention they are quite backwards on a lot of state laws and legislation.

    December 1, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  8. Tom Roundy

    Wow! And we wonder why these guys can't get anything done. It was a JOKE, Chuck. Apology not necessary, John. P.C. gone wild!

    December 1, 2011 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  9. JoBob

    In 2010, Arizona was 49th out of 50 states in terms of job generation. Maricopa County govenment spends 61 cents on every dollar for 1) police services, 2) incarceration, 3) adjucation, or 4) parole and probation. Arizona also has Sherriff Joe.

    Until the 2008 presential election, I would have voted for McCain but he sold his soul to the powers thate be. Maybe given the dismal condition and warped priorities of Arizona, perhaps he should focus on Arizona first.

    December 1, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  10. cigarman

    McCain is the joke, he brought us Palin, who is a bigger joke, McCain is a Member of the party of NO. McCains Party, the Republican Party is in the process of ruining America. The Republicans are trying to get rid of Medicare, Social Security, Healthcare, Uneployment Insurance and now they are fighting to raise Payroll Taxes on the working stiff and lower taxes for Millionaires, McCain likes to play jokes, on the American worker. Believe me America, these JOKERS from the Republican party are not JOKING when they say that they want more wars. The Republican Party never wants to end a war that they start. NO JOKE

    December 1, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  11. Barry

    McCain needs to step down and take care of his numerous (he can't even remember) homes, cars etc. The days of bombing everyone into submission are over. He should keep his mouth shut.

    December 1, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  12. Robert

    McCain is the joke and he proved it by unleashing Palin upon America.

    December 1, 2011 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  13. jokerster

    You call that "open mouth, insert foot." Why is it always, I meant to say?? Schumer stood up to him...Time for McCain to go home and stay there....

    December 1, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  14. Belingo

    Ah, the adult conversation we have all been waiting for, huh? Ridiculous.

    December 1, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  15. SeauxGood

    Oh, really? What about Schumer's insensitive remarks about the City of Houston to house one of the retired space shuttles, despite being home to Mission Control? Chuck Schumer is a two-faced scum.

    December 1, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  16. vatoloke

    John McCan't is the only joke here. Well, him along with his $illy $arah.

    December 1, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  17. ConservaFASCISTS/TeaHadists/Tea Queda/TeaLiban

    The old man has fallen off of his rocker. Chuck should smack fire outta him. Don;t you ever disrespect New York. Stick to bashing Arizona.

    December 1, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. boyamidumb

    Pretty impressive. Another display of the adolescent level of our government representatives.

    Wait I take that back! The kids wouldn't act that childish.

    More of the same from the Senate. No wonder Rome fell.

    December 1, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. Geoz

    Now THAT is serving America. Finally the Senate has focus (snark to match the snark).

    December 1, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. The Decider

    Population of Alaska in 2010: 710,231
    McCain's brilliant choice of running mate in 2008: Half-term Governor Palin of Alaska

    3 millillion live on Long Island.
    6 Million live in Arizona.

    McCain, STFU!

    December 1, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  21. LovesIrony

    Last I checked, John McCain was part – albeit sometimes regrettably – part of the United States Senate,

    December 1, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  22. Anders Perillo

    Did Long Island vote Schumer into office? Then, yeah, they're idiots.

    December 1, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. NoBS

    How un-American is it for a previous presidential candidate labeling any part of America as unfit to be a part of the U.S? Cain & Palin was the biggest political joke since Jim Crow ruled the South.

    December 1, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  24. winterfling

    This is just another example of how polarized this country is geographically. Senator McCain is a U.S. Senator, not an Arizona senator. If he needs to make jokes, he could make a few about how in the middle of campaign mode in 2008, he very publicly made the trip back to Washington to personally save us during the tarp situation. Now that was funny.

    December 1, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  25. AlaskaPalin

    Refreshing! a good laugh; the back and forth. 9/11 always put things in their right perspective. Both patriots!

    December 1, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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