McCain joke about Long Island falls flat for a fellow senator

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainKerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria Trump, Clinton to headline Al Smith dinner Overnight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq MORE (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 DurbinDick DurbinDems gain upper hand on budget McConnell: Senate could drop flood money from spending bill Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (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 SchumerCharles SchumerElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal 78 lawmakers vote to sustain Obama veto MORE (D) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's wage practices MORE (D).