McCain joke about Long Island falls flat for a fellow senator

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) returned to the Senate floor Wednesday evening to apologize for a joke he made about Long Island.

Earlier in the evening, he said the island off New York is “regrettably” a part of the United States. He made the crack during a heated argument with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) over terrorist detainees.

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“Is it true that Justice [Sandra Day] O’Conner was specifically referring to a case of someone who was captured on Long Island?” asked McCain during the floor debate, referring to a Supreme Court case pertaining to the permanent military detention of Americans suspected of terrorism.

“Last I checked Long Island was, albeit sometimes regrettably, was part of the United States of America,” said McCain.

McCain’s comment passed without remark at the time, but apparently not everyone thought it was funny.

A few minutes later the senior senator from Arizona came back to the floor and said he regretted that one of his colleagues lacked a sense of humor.

“In an exchange I had on the floor I mentioned the wonderful people of wonderful Long Island, I made a joke, I am sorry that there is at least one of my colleagues that can’t take a joke,” said McCain. “So I apologize if I offended him and I hope that at least some day he will have a sense of humor.” 

The two sitting senators from New York are Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D).

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