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Sen. Allen: People Don’t ‘Actually Care’ About ‘Macaca,’ It’s ‘Only The Media’

By Judd Legum  

"Sen. Allen: People Don’t ‘Actually Care’ About ‘Macaca,’ It’s ‘Only The Media’"

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At an August 11 event, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) ridiculed a South Asian-American man who worked for his political opponent. In front of a large audience, Allen called S.R. Sidarth “macaca” (a racial slur), and said to Sidarth, who was born and raised in Virginia, “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!

First, Allen’s campaign manager referred “to the ‘macaca’ story with a barnyard epithet and insist that the senator had nothing to apologize for.” Then, as criticism mounted, Allen apologized.

But yesterday on Fox, Allen said that Virginians don’t “actually care” that he made the remarks and it’s “only the media” who thinks it’s an issue. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/08/allen.320.240.flv]

Actually, according to a poll taken after Allen finally apologized, 67% of Virginians found Allen’s remarks “inappropriate” and a majority believe “he needs to say more” about the incident.

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Transcript:

CAVUTO: And I’m wondering — and I know you have addressed this — if it goes back to your offensive comments to an opponent’s campaign worker that were deemed racist. Is — is that why you’re dropping? Is it a concern?

ALLEN: Oh, heck, I have been behind in polls. I was running for governor. I was 31 percent behind.

What matters to the people of Virginia is a record of performance, knowing Virginia, and somebody who’s going to lead with the values that are shared by Virginians, as well as their vision. And, for the last 20 years, I have been working for Virginians, making our commonwealth a — a safer and more prosperous place for people to live, learn, work, and to raise their families.

That remark I made was a mistake. I have apologized for it. But people care — only the media asks about it. The people care about high gas prices. They care about security, winning this war on terrorism, making sure that smaller businesses have access to more affordable health plans…

CAVUTO: OK.

ALLEN: .. and also improving education for all Americans.

CAVUTO: All right.

ALLEN: That’s what people actually care about.

CAVUTO: OK.

Well, I was forced to address it. It — it’s out there.

OK, Senator, good seeing you, as always — Senator George Allen.

ALLEN: Good being with you, Neil.

‹ Is Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)

$20 million: ›

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