December 13th, 2007
04:40 PM ET

Major candidates saying “I’m sorry”?


FROM Jack Cafferty:

"I'm sorry.” That's the message coming from a couple of the top contenders for the White House.

Instead of the public learning more about who might be best-qualified to run this country, we're being confronted with the aftermath of scurrilous personal attacks.

First it was a comment about Mitt Romney's religion. Mike Huckabee says he personally apologized to Romney, after asking a reporter whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers. Huckabee, who had come under fire for the comment, says he told Romney after yesterday's debate he would never try "to pick out some point of your faith and make it an issue."

Less than 24 hours later, over on the Democratic side, we had a top Hillary Clinton advisor launching an attack against Barack Obama. Bill Shaheen said Democrats should give more thought to Obama's illegal drug use when he was a kid before deciding if he deserves the nomination. Shaheen later apologized and said his comments weren't authorized by the Clinton campaign. Late this afternoon, Shaheen quit the Clinton campaign.

But his comments were nasty enough to warrant a personal apology today from Hillary Clinton herself. Apparently Clinton told Obama she was very upset by the remarks, that she told Shaheen it was unacceptable and that this isn't "the kind of campaign" she's running.

It certainly is getting ugly out there.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about the nature of this presidential campaign when major candidates are being forced to say “I’m sorry”?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jim writes:
It says they're human, and thank God for it! If we are looking for perfection, then no one will ever run the country. At least Hillary had to apologize for someone else. Huckabee has only himself to blame. But being able to say I'm sorry is an attribute often missing these days in politics. Lord knows this current president should say it over and over and over again to this nation.

Merreill writes:
Very simple, Jack. It means that they are all hammerheads that shift their mouths into gear without engaging their brains. They're a sorry lot. For that they should be apologetic.

Eric from Murray, Utah writes:
Who cares if one candidate apologizes to another? Presidential candidates should apologize directly to the American public. After all, we're the ones they're pandering to.

Ramesh from San Fransisco writes:
It is so unfortunate that the major candidates and their associates are throwing mud at their rivals on issues that have nothing to do with the national and international issues they are supposed to be addressing. This is high time they put their unleashed tongues on a leash and focus on issues that are the concern of American public.

Johannes Brookings from South Dakota writes:
Jack, I think apologizing and forgiving are two great qualities we need more of in this world. A leader that is able to say "I am sorry" might be able to restore our soft power. It's time to stop not caring about other countries, and to apologize when we mess up.

Ira writes:
I'm sorry. I don't believe them when they say "I'm sorry" or anything else.

Maybe Jack will read yours tomorrow.

Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. David Cissner,San Bernardino,CA.

    Jack,It says that if these people are the best and brightest,God help us!

    December 13, 2007 at 1:03 pm |
  2. Carol Sears

    YES, it is okay to apologize – in fact, it should be demanded. It is one of the Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule. If you make a mistake or even realize later that you've (perhaps accidentally) said or done something that is wrong, please step forward and say you are sorry. Don't be a Bush, a Rove, or a Libby – if you sweep your dirt under the rug, you will soon stumble and fall over it.

    December 13, 2007 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Julia Bormes

    Jack, It shows that we are more worried with being "politically correct" and not offending anyone than we are just in stating our opinion. I don't believe in intentionally insulting anyone, but good grief, you can't look at someone in this day and not have to apologize for it. Our country needs to focus more on solving problems than creating more!

    December 13, 2007 at 1:14 pm |

    hillary apologized for her co-chairs comments about obamas own addmition use of cocaine- not something she said. but huckerbee the one you called "REAGANESS" jack -used jesus name in vain with lucifer and all of a sudden he's sorry and gets a pass.. which is worst jack-tell me?. and here lately every day you have to same something bad about hillary.. you are getting ugly jack. seriously ugly...YOU are prepin up obama like the gops and msnbc to bash hillary...im beginning to dislike you. if you keep this up – you need to go to fox or msnbc. they'll welcome you with open arms....

    December 13, 2007 at 1:51 pm |
  5. Alan Strass

    Jack, Presidential politics had lost all substance and has become a big soap opera. Watching Barack and Hillary jab at each other is like watching an episode of “The Young and The Restless.” Joe Biden projects the experience, wisdom and demeanor to restore decency to the White House… But, you guys in the press have already decided that Joe is bad for ratings and won’t give him any air time. And now, alarmist Lou Dobbs has stolen the Independent label. Nothing is left for mainstream folks seeking smart, wise moderate leadership.

    December 13, 2007 at 1:54 pm |
  6. Lorie Ann

    I'm sorry is only words. I personally want a President who spends less time on the correct words and more time on using their brains to tackle and solve, really solve the problems of a country. So they can nix the I'm sorry and fix the reasons they feel they have to say sorry to begin with.
    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    December 13, 2007 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Dave

    I"m sorry doesn't cut it for me I am not a priest and I don't give absolution. None of them would last one day walking in my shoes. They have not a single clue about the real state of America.

    December 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm |
  8. CC

    I can’t believe no one has seen it or said it, Harold Ford. It’s an attempt to play to the stereotypes and fears of white America. A black man selling drugs. No one asked about selling drugs when Bill Clinton wasn’t inhaling his joint or that George Bush sold cocaine during his party years. What’s more it shows Hillary Clinton for just what she is, a hypocrite. For all the black support she and her husband have gotten from black people, she is willing to go to the basest racial fears to win. I don’t believe for a minute that it wasn’t deliberate or in her apology.

    December 13, 2007 at 2:47 pm |
  9. William

    No apology required. Facts are facts.

    December 13, 2007 at 3:00 pm |
  10. Alan from San Angelo, TX

    It's slamming the barn door after the cows got out. The campaign already dropped the stink bomb and an apology is just a hand wave pushing the foul odor around. Expect alot more of this. Dirty attacks and false sorrow. Oh, and the candidates will spend over $1 billion in the process.

    December 13, 2007 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    All politicians are mostly guided by what they people may or not think.The 'sorrys' are coming fast and furious because the polls say that people are turned of by the fighting.Voters used to be really impressed by the attacking politician,the tough guy image.Now, there seems to be a 'civility' index introduced to a candidate's evaluation.Its nice to see,but will only last as long as the polling supports it.

    December 13, 2007 at 3:16 pm |
  12. Bill

    What is wrong with our society? We Americans pride ourselves on Freedom of Speech and then have to retract it when someone gets offended. If Harry Truman were alive today and not spinning in his grave like he probably is, he would have to apologize for his phrase "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" because it would offend housewives.

    We should be judged by the content of our speech, not the context. If we have to sanitize every statement we make we end up saying nothing profound, we just end up with candidate that might as well make announcements over the PA at WalMart.

    December 13, 2007 at 3:17 pm |
  13. Barry

    I'm sorry, but I don't want to hear the words "I'm sorry" anymore. Why do we have to apologize for saying whatever we want? That's not what living in America is all about.

    The only apology I want to hear from any politician is from George Bush, saying "I'm sorry, I lied". Of course THAT will never happen.

    December 13, 2007 at 3:31 pm |
  14. john

    It says the candidates are reaching new lows and nothing is off limits The context surrounding “I’m Sorry” events are nothing more than masquerading mud slinging akin to high level push polling. The candidate not only gets away with an often untrue inflammatory statement to sway voters, but also gets to do it for free because of the media frenzy that surrounds the statement and apology to follow.

    December 13, 2007 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Dave of Natchez

    If not for the writers working for them and reading from that script we would most likely be hearing "I'm Sorry" a lot more. Seems like when they show who they really are we see what a waste it is going to be to vote.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:06 pm |
  16. A. Poulin


    Its quite alright if they have to say they're sorry. They are truly the sorriest lot
    I've ever seen.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:27 pm |
  17. Dave Jenkins

    No one really cares whether these candidates apologize to each other. It is obviously not a genuine gesture but rather a poor and obvious attempt at politicking. These candidates should however be apologizing to the American people for, well let's see, everything that HASN'T been done in the past 7 years to prevent this disaster of affairs that this country is going through. But having said that, apologizing will not solve the problem. Solving the problem will solve the problem and quite honestly, I don't believe anything that comes out of any candidates mouth. They are desperate to win and that means more to them than anything!

    December 13, 2007 at 4:29 pm |
  18. Bill Hamlin

    It means that candidates are willing to take responsibility for what their staffers say and do in the case of Clinton's subordinate sniping at Obama's drug use as a teen. In the case of Huckabee's own ridiculous jibe at the Mormon religion, it means that he is not as honest as he should be considering his education as an ordained Baptist minister

    December 13, 2007 at 4:32 pm |
  19. Tom Bulger

    It is hard not to be cynical and wonder if the campaigns are having it both ways. They sling the mud. It sticks. Then they look responsible and reasonable by decrying the mud.

    I like Obama's attitude. We need to turn the page on all of these dirty tactics. I hate it when the Republicans like Donald Segretti do it and I believe it is wrong when Democrats do it.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:34 pm |
  20. sandy

    Hey Oprah,
    My vote is not for sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I quit watching your show--– cancelled my subscription to your magazine and decided not to buy anymore from the "Oprah book club".

    I can and will make my own mind up about the election.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:42 pm |
  21. Mark in Niles, IL

    Apparently we live in a time when anyone can say whatever they want, and so long as they immediately are forced to apologize or recant it, we receive it as acceptable behavior. What about taking a second to think about what you are about to say – before you say it, and then stand firm by your words which you truly mean. That's just plain good advice from our parents.

    December 13, 2007 at 4:50 pm |
  22. Ben Mirman

    It simply means they got caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. They're only sorry they got caught.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:01 pm |
  23. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Well First, Had Hillary been anywhere else but Iowa who as a state has clearly pointed out they do not like a candidate who runs a trash smear campaign nothing would have been said by Hillary to Obama in the form of an apology. Secondly, Hillary is hoping for a Vice president seat when Obama gets the nomination. Hillary is useless not stupid.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:01 pm |
  24. Jim Jensen

    Well, it is very mean for staffers or candidates themselves to say the unacceptable things they do. Unfortunately, it seems to be politics as usual and each election year the negativity seems to get worse and worse. I would hope that the candidates and their staffers would finally get the message that the American electorate want to hear a candidate say what they believe they should do, if elected, and how they intend to do it. Throwing rocks at each other tells the electorate absolutely nothing except the candidate is waging a negative campaign and probably isn't a worth candidate. On the other hand, at least they apologized which is something that George W. Bush will never do.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:06 pm |
  25. Patricia

    It just shows everyone gets a case of "hoof 'n mouth" disease.
    I don't care if Mitt wears "magic Mormon underwear", I do care about his stand on the issue of the right to choose.
    And I don't care if "Mike Hickabee" is a Baptist preacher, I care he signed off on letting a rapist out of jail.
    I don't care if Hillary is a "know it all", I care that she doesn't get it when it comes to Iraq & Iran.
    And I don't care if Obama smoked a joint in high school, I care that he may not be able to look a dictator in the eye & say what "we Americans" mean.
    In short I realllllllllly don't give a rat's ass what someone did from the day they went to kindergarten until they left college. Hell, I don't even care about what they did 20 minutes ago.
    My question is: Did you learn from the mistakes you made? Will you make the same mistake again?
    We allowed BushCo to lead us into making a mistake by invading Iraq, & it seems we are going to allow him to lead us into making the same mistake by invading Iran.
    Who's more stupid, BushCo because he's doing it to us again, Or Us, for letting him do it?

    December 13, 2007 at 5:12 pm |
  26. Bobby

    Saying I'm sorry – as Hillary has done today, wasdone only to save her own tail and not to "protect" Obama from the republican hawks. Only when the issue of her husband Bill Clinton's marijuana use in the past (you know, the infamous " I put it to my lips, but I did'nt inhale") did Hillary's stance change. Hillary is for Hillary,special interests, and lobbyists.Obama is for the people, and the change for what our country needs right now – Let's hope everyone learns this before it is too late.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:18 pm |
  27. patrick gorse

    It doesn't mean anything when the major candidates say they're sorry. I don't trust them when they say the things they later have to apologize for, why should I trust them when they say they're sorry for saying it?

    Not only do I not believe that Hillary Clinton is sorry for what her campaign aide said about Obama, the question, "What does it say about the nature of this presidential campaign when major candidates are being forced to say "I'm sorry"?...I bet she planted it.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:21 pm |
  28. Matthew Cheng

    Apologizing during a campaign appears to us as little more than damage control that stems from a fear of offending any notable person or influential group. Remember Kerry's botched joke about getting 'stuck in Iraq'? It's getting so ridiculous that I'm expecting Giuliani to apologize to Yankees fans for that gaffe about the Red Sox. Better yet, what if Edwards apologized to his barber for all the unintended negative press? Any takers?

    December 13, 2007 at 5:30 pm |
  29. Cindy

    It just goes to show ya...they are always in the middle of the aisle! They can't even attack ona another with out flip floppin!! And we think these people can run our country! Lord help us!!

    December 13, 2007 at 5:32 pm |
  30. Jan

    It is without question a sign of weakness. These well-funded candidates (particularly the media-elevated, yawner front runners to date) need to say what they mean and mean what they say. For example, Joe Biden has no problem expressing himself and will stick with it, but he is given very little media attention.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:43 pm |
  31. kendy

    Instead of apologizing to each other they should be apologizing to US for subjecting us to months of this ridiculous mud-slinging and finger pointing. Politics has become like a preschool with big bullies who each are trying to run the playground. It's time to put these kids in time out.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:47 pm |
  32. Natalie orf

    We the people are sick and tired of this negative campaigning. We are not stupid. The candidates plant the negative seed and then pretend they had nothing to do with it. Not one thing happens without their consent!! Interesting how this happens as soon as they become desperate. I hope they can keep the campaing focused on their points and stop the mud slinging.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:51 pm |
  33. Rick Steiner

    Politicians and mass media must still think the general public is stupid. We can see right through their plastic comments and apologies.

    December 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm |
  34. Les

    Jack, I can't think of a good answer to your question. I'm Sorry!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:06 pm |
  35. Don L. Jenkins

    I just thought of a new nickname for Mr. Mike Huckabee, one of my best loved cartoons back in th 60's & 70's; " Huckleberry Hound".

    December 13, 2007 at 6:11 pm |
  36. Ed Babiarz

    Hi Jack,
    It simply means that the candidates are not George W. Bush

    December 13, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  37. Garrett Larson

    It least the presidential candidates are recognizing when they are wrong, and saying so, unlike the current administration.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  38. Bart

    It's still a ploy: everyone hears the initial comment: few hear the apology: the damage is done.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:12 pm |
  39. Don H.

    How do I feel about so many candidates saying, "I'm sorry"? Why I feel fine about it. Sadly, they're a pretty "sorry" bunch.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  40. Claudia Casswell

    Hmmmm........ I think it means that when someone misspeaks, they, upon further reflection, make amends. Sounds pretty normal to me. What's the point of the question?

    December 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  41. david bordson

    It means George W. Bush isn't running for president.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  42. Eugenia Brown

    I would be FAR more concerned if a presidential candidate never said they were sorry. Isn't healthy self-criticism what we want in a leader? Isn't that a sign of basic maturity? Just think about who we have in office now.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  43. James Face

    It says many things about the leaders of our country. Most importantly how they are childish and resort to despicable measures to make each other look bad. It's immature and shows how none of the candidates are genuine. Since they can't win on their own stands, they have to make everyone else look bad.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm |
  44. Karen diehl

    I'll tell you what it means.... they are all a bunch of "sorry" SOB's along with Bush and the current congress. It's pretty obvious.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  45. Betty

    What does it say about the media who can't move on from beating to death the "I'm sorry" issue from Clinton to Obama to discussing issues important to and affecting our country ? Why can't you'all just let it go? The Senator apologized and that should be the end of it – period. It's not the candidates who should get the blame for negativity. It's the media! Enough.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  46. Ira Kennedy

    I'm Sorry. I don't believe them when they say "I'm sorry" or anything else.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  47. Jim

    It says they're human, and thank God for it! If we are looking for perfection, then no one will ever run the country. At least Hillary had to apologize for someone else, Huckabee has only himself to blame, but being able to say I'm sorry is an attribute often missing these days in politics, and Lord knows this current president should say it over and over and over again to this nation

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  48. Joseph from NY

    Jack, it says get ready because we'll soon be saying I'm sorry Ahmadinejad.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  49. Tom Richard

    Today they can say, "I'm sorry." Perhaps tomorrow they will be able to say, "I made a mistake." Who am I kidding, and what does it matter anyway? They can say whatever they want and the only feedback that really matters is how I pull the lever when its my turn to vote.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  50. Ed Babiarz Pennsylvania

    Hi Jack,

    It simply means that the candidates are not George W. Bush.

    Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  51. Zac

    It says alot when a politician can say that they are sorry, it shows that they can be responsible for their behavior. Its better than showing that you have no faults.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  52. Loren

    I'm sorry...what did you say?

    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  53. Carol

    When you have to say "I'm sorry", it is too late... the damage is done.


    December 13, 2007 at 6:14 pm |
  54. Steve Nwagbo

    Perhaps you accept Huckabee's apologies as honest, but I can't believe anything coming from the Clinton camp. There is something about Mrs Clinton that portrays her as so so insincere.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  55. Michael

    This could hurt sen clinton's winning on jan 3rd for saying what she said about sen obama's drug use as teenager. But i think she said that she was sorry so she could win on jan 3rd but the people of iowa will see right through it.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  56. Garrett

    At least the presidential candidates are recognizing when they are wrong, and saying so, unlike the current administration.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  57. Ron Foyer

    Jack, to hear the words "i'm sorry" these days, it means about as much as when the person hits you from behind, ruining your new car because they were talking on a cellphone. They will go out and do it again the next week. No one learns anything that says they are sorry these days, and it is a universal cureall to the worlds lame mistakes. The same goes for the presidential candiates...I'm sorry is about as casual and Effective, as gas passed in the wind.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  58. James Face

    these candidates have argument skills of a grade-schooler...immature.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:15 pm |
  59. Anne Woodworth

    It means the story gets out there for all to hear. But few take note of the ensuing apologies. So it's a win-win for the candidates. Too bad.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:16 pm |
  60. pam hughes

    Heh, maybe more "I'm sorry"s will lead to fewer offensive comments.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:16 pm |
  61. Colvin Ingram

    Because they are sorry.
    Next question.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  62. Annie

    Hey Jack,

    I don't know what it says about the campaigns, but it certainly is refreshing to hear apologies from politicians for a change. It's been a long time.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  63. Judi Raymond

    It takes a stand-up person to admit a mistake. Yes, of course, it is o.k.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  64. Nadia R.

    It would be nice if the candidates' apologies were sincere instead of being used for a publicity stunt. Will we ever be able to believe that anything these people say is truly sincere? These attacks and petty comments are truly sickening and they make it easy to become disillusioned in the character of these candidates–and one of these people will become our future president?!? I shudder to think!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  65. larry kritzell

    jack,love means never having to say you are sorry,therefore, this must be hate!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  66. Dave Arnholt

    When underlings in any campaign get to these kind of comments it tends to show the massive polarization of the politics of this country.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm |
  67. Lydia

    Cleary, major candidates having to say I'm sorry is simply part of campaign strategy. If the West Wing and the new McCallister campaign on the ABC show Brothers & Sisters bears any accurate semblance to the nature of politics in this country, then presidential candidates cannot claim they are completely oblivious to remarks such as Shaheen's. If there was no backlash to his comment, Clinton would have taken advantage of the situation and an apology would be reserved for failed attempt to promote the candidate.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:19 pm |
  68. David Vieira

    After close to seven years of a President who refuses to say he made a mistake or to say I'm sorry, I think it is refreshing to hear. We all do or say things that you may want to take back and we certainly all make mistakes. I think more of a person who can admit it and stand up and say it.
    David V. from snowy R.I.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:19 pm |
  69. Shelton


    I think saying "I'm sorry" is actually a pleasant change from the self-righteous hypocritical campaigns of Bush and Cheney in 2000 and 2004. Maybe they'll decide to come around and apologize to the country for the mess they've put us in.
    I'm not holding my breath!!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:19 pm |
  70. Vanessa Davis Griggs

    Jack, I heard someone say once, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission." I believe this applies to things being said. It's a way of getting something negative out there because as it's also said, "You can't unring a bell." My question is: How did it come out that Hillary told Obama (in what I would think was a private moment) she was sorry? It makes me wonder how much of what people do is truly sincere and how much is merely political game.

    Vanessa Davis Griggs of Birmingham, Alabama

    December 13, 2007 at 6:19 pm |
  71. Derek Maclean

    If Senator Clinton disapproves of Bill Shaheen's actions, she may want to weed out some of her campaign staff. After talking to a few, I'm afraid for Senator Obama, a few of them might lynch him given the chance!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  72. Ed

    I think that for them to say they are "Sorry" shows much more personal character than the present White House staff, who spend countless hours covering up or lying about what happen.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  73. Chris Hanson

    I would certainly rather have politicians who recognize that either they or a member of their team made a mistake, then take responsibility for it and apologize appropriately. On the other hand the Bush Administration has, time and time again, failed to acknowledge mistakes, much less apologize. Seems to me we are a step closer to bringing responsibility and civility back.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  74. Ira Kennedy

    I'm sorry. I don't believe Hillary. I don't believe any on them.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  75. bob from Dover, DE Home of the Military Morgue

    It means they are sorry .... the whole lousy bunch of them are sorry...

    but what it really means is since they are all brothers and sisters of the same cloth it doesn't make sense to hold grudges or start conflicts when no matter who wins they will all join together with one unified motive....

    that being to screw the American citizen out of every last cent and constitutional right we have left.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  76. Ray

    What it means is that things look pretty good for Bloomberg should he decide to throw his hat in the ring. These candidates should be saying "I'm Sorry" to the American people for resorting to schoolyard politics.

    Oakland, California

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  77. Chick Beckley

    It says that political campaigns are very complicated affairs run by complicated organizations. There is just too much information that flows in and out of a campaign to have complete control over every word and how it may or may not be parsed or taken out of context.

    It is a non-event and to suggest that Hillary, Huckabee or any other candidate is not in control of their campaign organization takes us away from the issues that we should be examining.

    Then again, perhaps the inability of these candidates – democrat or republican, to achieve any substantial change in our country leaves them little else to discuss besides personal innuendo and taking personal pot shots!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm |
  78. Rich, McKinney Texas

    Hell they are just practicing apologies for everything they plan on screwing up when some of us screw up and elects one of them president.
    Who ever gets elected has 4 years to try and unscrew what 8 years of the last two congresses and Mr. Bush have screwed up. Say, that’s a lot of screws to un-do ain't it.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:21 pm |
  79. Merreill Hall

    Very simple, Jack. It means that they are all hammerheads that shift their mouths into gear without engaging their brains. They're a sorry lot. For that they should be apologetic.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:21 pm |
  80. Joshua

    Formal apology, as it has been done in the campaign recently, is a nice way of being able to "poison the jury." The unfair mudsling is thrown at the opponent and then the jury is kindly asked to "disregard" the statement by means of apology. The blows are low, and insulting, but in the end the gunman is innocent because of apology.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm |
  81. Sam

    This is for CC, and Rich McKinney, from Texas.......have some common sense! And, have some logical argument when you make a point.

    It is ok to apologize. The media needs to do the job of informing us about all the candidates, their record of service in the public arena. Don't just list it, tell us how they performed.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm |
  82. Nancy

    Yes they should say their sorry, because they are sorry, Sorry.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:23 pm |
  83. Richard

    Regarding our present candidates: It means that we are human and err. To say I'm sorry is the decent thing to do. At least ANY of today's present candidates will be 1000 per cent better than the present administration that lies, cheats, caters to big busines, pharmaceuticals, oil interests, ruins peoples lives, snubs their collective noses at the middle class, don't care about our returning veterans, etc., etc., etc., and seem to revel in their evilness. I'm pissed. Bring on the next election now or IMPEACH the whole lot of them. I get mad every time I watch your program but it's not you fault, it's what you are reporting on. You are doing a fantastic job. keep it up.
    Thanks for letting me vent.
    Richard in Toledo
    ps I read your book and think everyone else should, too.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:23 pm |
  84. Jack Harrigan

    I would rather hear a politician say that he or she is sorry than have to put up with so many politicians who are wholly incapable of saying it; even when it is obvious that such a response is the only correct one.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:23 pm |
  85. Shay Doyle

    Wow.. They are learning some new words aren’t they.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:24 pm |
  86. Gwen

    Jack, I refuse to believe that anything these candidates or their high-level staffers say is an "accident." If I say in the media that I heard Jack Cafferty beats his dog, and apologize later, I've smeared you more effectively than if I made the charge directly. Furthermore, I suspect all of these candidates are too full of themselves to be capable of a sincere apology. I'm ready to vote for Canada...with my feet!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:24 pm |
  87. Joseph from NY

    It says politicians are getting soft. Seems like just yesterday when politicians would lie cheat and steal, and never, ever think of uttering an apology. Maybe that's why we voted Bush in for a second term.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:25 pm |
  88. Sam McKechnie

    How do I rate the Dems in congress, well that like comparing the work of the
    German Reichstag during Hitler reign of terror. King Bush is not a hell of a lot better than Adolf when he can lie, subvert our Constitution, and totally mismanage the business of running OUR country and to even mention all the theivery of Dick Cheney's Halliburton. Apples and Oranges.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:25 pm |
  89. D. J

    There is not a shred of evidence to support the legitimacy of ANY given religion or faith. Comparing religions or pairing one candidate with the devil as brothers is as ridiculous as saying I am the offspring of Darth Vader. The things that come out of people's mouths sometimes is ludicrous as well as irrelevant to the matters at hand which is to supply this country with the necessary repairs it desperate needs. Any candidate that does that will be revered and no one will give a damn about what this one said to that one and so forth. These candidates should keep their eye on the ball rather than make pointless apologies to each other. Do you really think our troops in Iraq care whether any candidate's feelings are hurt? They just want to get the hell out of there. The hungry here in America want to eat and sick want to be able to afford the care they deserve. Get a grip!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:27 pm |
  90. Greg Schroeder

    It seems like more of a move to make each candidate look like a real human being instead of a ruthless campaign monster. Though it does seem like a candidate will say whatever they please, and just add "I'm sorry" to make it all better. I think it's just a stupid trick to say whatever they want to say, and to not be held overly accountable for it later on. Honestly, candidates need to man up and just understand that all of these attacks are only a taste of what will come as a President, so they better get used to it.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:28 pm |
  91. Rev.Frank A. Caruso

    Howdy Jack!
    Gee....Why are Presidential Candidates saying they are Sorry so much. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they are are Sorry Bunch of Presidential Prospects.
    Each one might have ONE good point but then turn around and either want to invite one fourth of the World's population here or turn Us into the very same Third World Countries by shipping jobs overseas. Woun't be long before Haiti has a higher average Pay Level than in the U.S..
    Jack, PLEASE put some pressure on Your Buddy Lou to get into the Race!
    Hmmm......Cafferty as Head of Homeland Security? I like the idea!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:30 pm |
  92. Carol

    It means people are tired of watching Bush and Republicans destroy our country. 2008 should be about electing someone that can restore our foreign relations, restore our civil rights, fix the health care problem and pay off the huge federal debt that Republicans ran up while they had total control for 6 years and still want to do. Rather than fix the AMT by raising the taxes on the people it was originally created to hit (the rich), Republicans want to just say we fixed it and not replace the lost revenue.

    Lost revenue equals greater federal debt or cuts to domestic spending.

    No tax hikes to Republicans means no tax cuts to the rich. What about the middleclass? If the AMT is not fixed the Republicans will be approving a tax hike on them. Bertter to raise taxes on those that need the money than those that were supposed to pay more?

    Republicans had more than a fair chance with total control of all three branches of our government to prove they would be good for America and they failed miserably.

    People join campaigns to try to make a difference. The situation today is that people are desperate to get their candidate elected, because they feel their candidate has the best chance to win the general election and repair America.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:30 pm |
  93. Jim Resue

    Jack, Every one of us has stuck a foot in our mouth once in a while so I find an apology a refreshing change from the usual spin and rationalization from people who think they have to picture themselves as infallible. Bravo!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:31 pm |
  94. Katie

    These candidates should first engage their brain sbefore operating their mouths!

    Then they wouldn't have to say "I'm sorry!"

    December 13, 2007 at 6:33 pm |
  95. Roxanne

    What "I'm sorry" says to me about "the nature of this presidential campaign" is that you and your fellow media critics are being way too picky AND there have been too many slow news days recently! Everyone says things they didn't mean. The mature person owns up and says, "I'm sorry." Politicians are people too, even if you and your media colleagues like to think they are some sub-human species. So if "Mr./Ms. Politican" makes a gaff or "Mr./Ms. Campaign Worker" says something he/she shouldn't, it only proves to me that they are truly human and not the aliens you are trying to make us think they are.

    Blue Hill, Maine

    December 13, 2007 at 6:36 pm |
  96. Bill O'Brien

    It says they're all a bunch of liars, cheats and thugs. They all talk an easy game of cleaning up politics but their game is no cleaner than baseball and it's a damn shame.

    It is a huge step forward that the candidates are willing to admit their mistakes along with those on their staff but why make the mistakes in the first place. Mrs. Clinton more than any other candidate should know that the glare of the camera misses absolutely nothing.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:40 pm |

    Don’t apologize for something if you don't feel you're in the wrong. So make sure you're actually responsible for a problem before you try to solve it with "I'm sorry."

    December 13, 2007 at 6:40 pm |
  98. Doug

    What I'd like to see is one of you "journalists" tell us if Mormons really DO believe Jesus & the Devil are brothers. What Mormons believe IS a valid issue to many of us, because so little is known. Why doesn't CNN tell us? Wolf Blitzer said the other day that Mormons believe the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. Is that a credible belief? We know that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other leaders of the early Mormons had not two or three, but many wives. And didn't Mormons believe blacks were descendants of the devil until the last few decades? I think there are valid questions that need to be answered. Suppose a candidate believed squirrels are direct descendants of Moses. Would you vote for him or her?

    December 13, 2007 at 6:40 pm |
  99. Rod Taylor

    I don't believe she or anyone else should apologize for something that is almost a guarantee. if Obama becomes the nominee, one thing that's for sure is the Republicons will go straight for his weakest spot and that happens to be past drug use. Everyone knows that they live to fight dirty and they will use this in a heartbeat.

    No, the guy was right on and should have held his ground...and his job!

    December 13, 2007 at 6:42 pm |
  100. Jeff K.

    It means the age of arrogant cowboy diplomacy is finally over and our country may be able to get back the respect it had abroad and the office of the President of the United States will once again be occupied by someone I don't consider to be "an insignifigant, meglomanical bug".

    December 13, 2007 at 6:42 pm |
  101. PJ Murphy

    Two very separate issues. Shaheen's comments quickly disavowed by Hillary because she wants to separate herself from negative or attack campaigning. Not her comments, but she still wants quick disassociation. So Hillary can actually make good press. She's seen as sending amessage: She won't attack, and won't tolerate it from her associates. Huckabee, on the other hand, made the comments himself, and quickly apologizes. On the surface, for the same reasons, i.e. negative, attacks don't resonate with Iowa voters. But his comment goes much deeper and is more troubling. He's a Baptist minister, attacking the religious beliefs of another candidate. This might just play well with those on the fringes. But for the moderates in both parties, as well as the seculars, non-believers, and just about any reasonable person, these comments say volumes about this guy, and who he is. Most of us believe that a person's religion, or non-religion, or the depth of one's beliefs should not be an issue in the race. Here's a candidate who has crossed a very, very troubling line that tells me that he is intolerant of others' religious beliefs. Very scary.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:44 pm |
  102. Richard in Virginia

    Saying I'm sory is a good thing you just shouldn't have to say it too often. My wife and I are still waiting for our current president to say he's sorry for the mess he's got the country in over his unjustified war in Iraq. I quess leaders are not supposed to apologize no matter how big the mistake.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm |
  103. David Gentry

    Sounds like politics as usual. They sling mud because they're afraid someone will disagree with their position on something. Also do you notice that a candidate with complain about mud slinging right after they let it fly.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm |
  104. Joan Wilder

    Jack, it says they are a confident person and will make a good leader. Only the tyrants of this world never admit a mistake.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:51 pm |
  105. Gary Smith

    Jack, surely you are not casting stones in a glass house. Based on what you have said about your book, I would guess you have said I'm sorry a time or two. I thought you were way too tough on the candidates tonight. Let the people decide; they don't need your help. Guess you don't like flip-floppers either. Regards, Gary

    December 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm |
  106. Tracy

    I think it's a wonderful thing that politicians are apologizing for the things they say and do. I think, as a whole, politicians are too worried about smearing their opponents name instead of focusing on their own platforms and beliefs. It's amazing how alike middle school and politics can be.

    December 13, 2007 at 7:41 pm |
  107. rob

    Good one, John L. Jenkins, mike "Huckleberry Hound", even!

    Kind of like, sorry Mitt, but thanks for lettin' me steal what, 20 points in the polls and makin' me SOMEBODY! Only a hate filled christian would be so gullible!

    December 13, 2007 at 8:06 pm |
  108. Bill

    The media has decided who the Democratic Nominee will be and his name is Obama. Obama did drugs. Obama admits this. It's a fact. Clinton campaign worker mentions this and what the Republicans might do with this information and they will. He apologizes and steps down. Which he should not have to do. Standard procedure these days. Basic cover for the campaign. Not really necessary from where I stand. But it's done. The press never really discusses the merit of mentioning the Republican attack machine and Obama's past drug use and how it they will use it and how go down with middle America and more conservative Democrats and Independents. Golden rule do not speak ill of Obama or pay the consequences even if the statement is true. Our next president will be a Republican another choice the press has already made.

    December 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm |
  109. Norm

    it is honorable to say your sorry if you really mean it. But it seems that aids of hilleries seam to have that problem often latly. Today the slam about obamas drug use back in his teens. Last week i beleave another aid made a comment about Obama being a musslem. That aid also said she was in arror and resigned or at lest said she was wrong and she was sorry. And also Hillery returned $850,000.00 to Norman Hsu. Or donated it to a charity, or gave it to the goverment, all these things were flying around the internet. i'm not sure what happened to the money. My thought is that one, Hillery has no control over her campaign workers, or that certain people on her staff are willing to take the fall as long as the message is out there, the damage done.I'm frome New York and I don't trust her, i would like to know why she left Her home state and came to New York to run for senator.

    December 13, 2007 at 10:32 pm |
  110. Brice

    "I'm Sorry", is the first indication that the I in our little godhead, became a we in our collective humanity. It's a little forgiveness adventure into authenticates. Great for the soul, good for the truth, and plants us firmly on the grounds of caring. We all need each other eventually; a little vulnerability expression awakens admissions of errors in another; it makes us real!

    December 13, 2007 at 11:34 pm |
  111. Troy

    I think all of the instances where the apologies are being offered are very calculated political tactics. They make their point to the American people by posing the allegation to turn people off of that candidate (hopefully gaining them) and then backtracking as to not lose any of the support they may have offended by using a tactic. Its been used for a long time. Lawyers use the exact technique with juries. Say something that may win favor in front of the jury, then withdraw and the Judge simply says to disregard it. But the statement has been made. I think, instead of someone who has to always learn from their mistakes or apologize for this and that.... even someone whose campaign is under a constant barrage of unethical behavior, perhaps the country needs a candidate who means what he says, has clear evidence supporting his position and who doesn't get involved in political maneuvering. And you know who I'm talking about, Jack!

    December 14, 2007 at 3:47 am |
  112. Mavrick49

    Jack; i believe if someone wrote a school paper and say he wanted to be President when he was 5 yrs old. I believe this mature individual knew how much damage he was going to do to his future chance at reaching this lofty goal, self inflicked wound. I do believe a man with a Harvard Education has a highly developed sense of right and wrong. Cocain is a very very vicious addictive drug, i would like for him to put his drug use into context. I know alot of first time users use it to enhance their sex drive ie... hollywood, sportstars, or was for that other lie creative purposes ie... musicians, comedians, scientist, singers... I would like to hear Obama's truthful and honest side of this very negative atribute of his... P.S. has he ever counseled any drug abuser or helped in any capacity while in office? And one more thing for him to crawl under the cover of denial and act like a victim in this, and point the finger at Senator Clinton for something she would never say is ridicules and lacks common logic... Explain yourself and apolagize to a Great Lady and Senator. I personally don't want a president that will have to take urine test every month. I do believe a individual deserves more than one chance when it comes to drugs its a vicious cycle. I will pray that the lord put words of healing and reconcilliation in your heart...

    December 14, 2007 at 4:06 am |
  113. Dennis McLelland

    My Hero Jack:

    Imagine this. We see each presidential candidate walk to the podium with a CD player in their respective hands. Each bring their players to the microphone, press the play button, and we hear Brenda Lee singing the '50's song "I'm Sorry."
    Now understand – this is done before they open their mouths. Jack, what we have here is a failure to communicate. It's a sad day when we have to view some of these candidates as clowns, but if the big shoe fits!!

    December 14, 2007 at 11:13 am |
  114. Tracy

    Sounds like they may actually still be human!

    December 14, 2007 at 11:27 am |
  115. Bob


    Don't worry. When some of these presidential candidates realize they're in danger of losing, "I'm sorry" will be fast forgotten and the attack ads will be coming fast and furious.

    December 14, 2007 at 12:39 pm |
  116. Lesly

    Facts are facts. Hillary's co-chair shouldn't have resigned and Hillary shouldn't have apologized. Obama put his drug use in the public domain and the Republicans will use it against him.

    Obama's candidacy is the product of media hype. He's all icing and no cake. I have heard more than one idiot compare him to Pres. Kennedy. Really? Was Obama a PT boat commander? A pulitzer prize winning author? A US Rep. for 6 yrs.? A Senator for 7 yrs?

    All I see when I look at Obama is him standing with his arm around Al Sharpton, a bottom feeding racist. What does that say about Obama?

    December 14, 2007 at 1:45 pm |
  117. Russ Cowgill

    We apperantly love the political theater. This stuff only works because we as an audience and you as the media feed on it. If we were truly interested in substance we would reject this kind of thing out of hand. The fact is that we are fixated on the entertainment value of these tiffs. Just look at what the average viewer tunes in too. Scandel, stuped reality shows, talk, gossip and on and on. It is a huge contributing factor to the mess we have in government and else where. I liked Chris Dod's comments on education when he quoted Jefferson. Maybe it's not just the educational level that is affecting our freedom; it just might be that we are making stupid choices because we listen to stupid stuff.

    No appology.

    RFC Seattle

    December 14, 2007 at 2:24 pm |
  118. C.Jones

    Jack; For those politicians having to say "I'm sorry," tells me that....HEY!.....here's a phrase that is NOT in GWB's vocabulary. (should be, incidently)
    As for having to apologize, I would much rather they exibit a little more thought before speaking so that they don't wind-up having to "eat-crow."
    We need, more than ever, to TAKE the U.S.A. back!..follow our Constitution, our moral code of ethics and make AMERICA the nation that the world looks up to once again! I fear that this administration is the biggest failure in the history of the nation. I wonder if there is in place, or why there isn't in place, a mental test for all those seeking the position of president. This administration is......shameful is about the only discription I can print!
    Chuck Canfield, OH

    December 14, 2007 at 3:48 pm |
  119. jeff wentz

    this has been done by every politician, as long as i can remember. why is it not ok, when the candidate put this out there himself, and opened himself up to the legimate question. ( will the republicans use this against him, if he wins the democratic nomination ) the answer is ,of course they will...when will the media, go back to reporting news, instead of trying to create news........

    December 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm |
  120. Aware

    She is playing dirty politics game. I think Edward will benefit when Clinton and Obama getting ugly politics fight.

    December 14, 2007 at 6:36 pm |
  121. Nicole

    Apologies for personal political attacks don't help. Frankly they just perpetuates the stench. Once said you can't make it go away.

    The attacks from the Clinton camp are just more of the same old school yard bullying. Responsible voters are sick of it. I was strongly leaning to caucusing for Hillary in January. Not now; no way.

    I want the gov't ("we the people") to be responsible for mitigating Iraq, our health care, global warming, economic justice and political environment crisis. School yard bullyism can't lead to this vision.

    December 14, 2007 at 6:59 pm |
  122. B Stone

    Dirty politics shows up in every election. The use of illegal drugs is bad, but
    failure to salute the American flag really bothers me. Do I want someone like
    that for my president.

    December 15, 2007 at 2:33 pm |
  123. Frank

    I see that Hillary is doing a 180 twist yet again. Out with the old "experienced, tough as nails" to a kinder and gentler image. Chubby Checker had nothing on her moves.

    December 17, 2007 at 6:36 pm |
  124. Gary

    Sorry! They don't know the meaning of the word, these people are snakes they'll say anything.

    December 19, 2007 at 11:44 am |
  125. Paul Liebow

    Our entire electric grid must be possessed by The Lord Jesus. The same exact cross that appeared mysteriously behind Mr. Huckabee last evening also appeared right in the middle of the floor of the Situation Room even as they were speaking about it!!!!- Look at the video!!

    December 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm |