Howard Dean is saying sorry to military veterans for his comments about “American Sniper,” but says he’s not apologizing to the “right-wing nutjobs.”

Critics, including “Forrest Gump” actor Gary Sinise, blasted the former Democratic presidential candidate for remarks he made about the Clint Eastwood-directed film.


“I’ll tell you something, which I’ve almost never done in politics,” Dean said to MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews on Tuesday, “I’ll apologize to the veterans. I haven’t seen the movie, and I think it was wrong.”

In a Friday appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show, “Real Time,” Dean said, “There’s a lot of anger in this country and the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry.”

“American Sniper” stars Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in the country’s military history.

In an online message, Sinise called Dean’s remarks a “stupid blanket statement,” writing, “I will admit that perhaps somewhere among the masses of people who are going to see the film there may be a few that might have some anger or have been angry at some point in their lives, but, with all due respect, what the hell are you talking about?”

While Dean offered up a mea culpa to veterans, he did an about-face when it came to other conservative critics, saying on MSNBC, “I make no apologies to all of the thousands of right-wing nutjobs who’ve been Twittering me with nasty language — but I do apologize to the veterans.”

“We owe them a lot,” the former Vermont governor said. “I think this movie was much more nuanced than I thought.”

He added, “The people who tweeted me all weekend and used a lot of bad language, they’re chicken hawks and I have no respect for them. I do have a lot of respect for the people who served this country, and I apologize.”