Joe McCain, speaking at an event in support of his brother, called two Democratic-leaning areas in Northern Virginia "communist country," according to a report on The Washington Post's Web site.Forget apologies. I grew up there and wasn't allowed to say in my high school government class, "Let's close the borders and not let anyone else in to America until we know who's here," only two days after 9/11.
"I've lived here for at least 10 years and before that, about every third duty I was in either Arlington or Alexandria, up in communist country," Joe McCain, a Navy veteran, said about his military postings. He spoke at an event in Loudon County, Va.
Joe McCain then apologized, but the remark drew laughter at the event, according to the report.
Virginia has long been a Republican stronghold in presidential elections, but Democrat Barack Obama is running even or ahead of McCain in recent state polls. Obama is being helped by fast-growing communities in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Northern Virginia, which tend to vote more Democratic than other parts of the state.
One of those areas is Arlington, Va., where John McCain owns a condominium.
"This was Joe McCain's unsuccessful attempt at humor," said McCain campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho. "John McCain and Sarah Palin are committed to winning the support of voters in Northern Virginia and understand the region's importance to victory statewide."