Oct. 16, 2008
"We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation."
Sarah Palin, at a fundraiser in Greensboro, North Carolina, suggesting only some parts of the country are "pro-America"
A spokesperson for the GOP Veep candidate later tried to clarify the apparent insult, saying Palin meant, "The best of our America isn't confined to our nation's capitol." Palin also went on CNN to apologize and say she doesn't want the remark "misunderstood," but she never elaborated on what she originally meant. Her backtracking efforts weren't helped by the fact that others in the McCain campaign made very similar remarks; spokesperson Nancy Pfotenhauer suggested that Northern Virginia near Washington wasn't the "real Virginia," and McCain himself told a Keystone State crowd that Western Pennsylvania was "the most patriotic part of America." The trio of statements were widely mocked and derided as a last-ditch, desperate attempt by Republicans to turn the election by playing the politics of division.