Readers weigh in on McCain's LI comments

Sen. John McCain speaks at campaign rally at

Sen. John McCain speaks at campaign rally at United High School in Hanoverton, Ohio. (Oct. 31, 2008) (Credit: Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain said Long Island was -- albeit, sometimes regrettably -- part of the United States of America.

Scores of Newsday readers want the Arizona Republican to know they pretty much feel the same about him being a representative of the U.S. Senate.

"And John McCain is regrettably still a senator," 1Nassauresident wrote in the comments section of the McCain story on newsday.com.

Or, as RBlumenthal wrote: "Probably, in some of Mr. McCain's circles, it's seen as clever to put Long Island down. I guess it's kind of a defense to overcome feeling inferior by acting superior.

"Still, it comes out as pathetically stupid."

The comment by McCain, the Vietnam War hero and 2008 GOP presidential candidate who sparked national debate when he selected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his controversial running mate, came during a debate Wednesday on the Senate floor over a defense bill that would allow the military to hold detainees indefinitely. According to accounts, McCain cited a World War II-era case in which German soldiers were captured on Long Island as proof the issue had been addressed by the Supreme Court. That case had been noted by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in a decision.

"Isn't it true that Justice O'Connor was specifically referring to a case for a person captured on Long Island?" he said. "Last I checked, Long Island was part -- albeit sometimes regrettably -- part of the United States of America."

The comment immediately drew the ire of Sen. Charles Schumer, as well as a host of Long Island politicians.

Though McCain said his comment was only a joke, Newsday readers weren't exactly buying the explanation -- or, finding humor in the remark.

"McCain needs to revisit SNL ['Saturday Night Live'] and find out for himself if Sarah Palin is really Tina Fey," raisedLI wrote in a posted comment.

"He certainly knew where LI was when he needed money for his (failed) Presidential bid," Lanky wrote, adding: "Instead of apologizing to us, just return all of the money that Long Island handed over to you because, McCain, you don't deserve a dime of it."

"Apparently none of McCain's seven (yes, I know he forgot, but seven) houses are located on Long Island," Smithers004 wrote in a comment.

"Regrettably, people like John McCain are part of the GOP," wrote Johnsgoat, noting that three signatories of the Declaration of Independence were from Long Island.

InfoJunkie elected to cite some pertinent Long Island history for the Arizona senator:

"I am anything but anti-McCain, unlike some posters here, but let's throw some facts out there. Southampton and Southold, two Long Island towns, were settled in 1640 as the first English settlements in NY. Those same English eventually booted the Dutch from New Amsterdam, extending NY. You could make a point that the rest of NY is an appendage of Long Island, not the other way around. NY was, of course, one of the original 13 colonies that formed the USA." InfoJunkie then noted Arizona became a state in 1912.

Of course, some readers felt that, considering the sad state of the economic crunch here, McCain was not out of line.

"McCain is right," RobKoz wrote. "LI is nothing but a joke. LI used to be the place to raise a family now it's nothing but a dumping ground for non-contributors and greedy unions." In a long posted rant, RobKoz added: "There's nothing to attract tourism here . . . The only thing that developers know what to do is build malls."

And still the overwhelming majority of readers thought McCain was wrong. On the Newsday Facebook page, Ron A. Staniec wrote: "I WISH long island was its own country." And Kara O'Brien wrote: "He mispronounced 'New Jersey.' "

Ernesto R. Pereira wrote: "Seniors say the darndest things," while another reader, Victor L. Sacino, wrote: "He has a nerve, LI has a lot of hardworking people trying to survive."

As Joyce Dierschke wrote: "He likes LI tax money I bet."

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