Allen on Macaca incident: ‘I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.’

In 2006, then-Sen. George Allen (R-VA) seriously damaged his re-election campaign when he was caught on video disparaging a young Indian-American as “macaca.” “This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent,” Allen told a crowd of supporters. Asked about the incident while speaking in Florida yesterday, Allen said that he “screwed up” and “should have never called him anything but yellow shirt”:

“I screwed up,” Allen said. “It wasn’t an intentional thing, if I had any idea that they’d make such an issue out of a non-existing word … I should have never called him anything but yellow shirt.”

Allen continues to claim that macaca was “a non-existing word,” but the fact is that macaca was a pejorative epithet that existed before Allen used it.