In an interview with a Virginia political news outlet today, Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA), who has officially launched a campaign for the Senate seat he lost in 2006, kicked the hornets’ nest that may have cost him the seat in the first place.
Allen said he regrets using the term “macaca” to describe a Democratic campaign tracker, but still maintains it is a “made-up” word, not a racial slur.Asked by an interviewer at Bearing Drift what he had learned from his loss to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006, Allen acknowledged that he had made mistakes and he “takes responsibility for them.” Allen then offered his take on the infamous August 2006 “macaca” incident, where he called a Webb campaign tracker who was Indian-American “macaca,” a type of monkey and a racial slur used by French colonists in Africa. The incident is widely considered to have contributed to Allen’s loss in a race he had previously been expected to win.
“On the issue of ‘macaca,’ which people will bring up, I needlessly drew a college student who was following me around all over Virginia into the race,” Allen said. “And I should not have. He was just doing his job, and I should not have made him part of the issue. And I regret it. It was not done with malice. And if I had known that that made-up word would be connoted as a racial insult, I would not have said it.”
Listen to the whole interview (‘macaca’ talk starts at the 5 minute mark):
After the original incident, Allen made a similar claim that he had made up the word.
(h/t Blue Virginia)