RICHMOND, Va. — Sen. George Allen apologized Tuesday for remarks that offended a man of Indian descent who was tracking the Republican's re-election campaign for Democratic challenger Jim Webb.
S.R. Sidarth said he felt Allen was singling him out because of his race when the senator called him"Macaca"during a GOP rally Friday at Breaks, Va., near the Kentucky border.
"In no way was it meant to demean him, and I'm sorry if he was offended,"Allen said in a telephone interview.
Allen, who is positioning himself for a possible run for president in 2008, said the name was"just made up"and that he had no idea that macaca is a genus of monkeys including macaques. The name also could be spelled Makaka, which is a city in South Africa.
Webb's campaign distributed to reporters a video clip of Allen's remarks about Sidarth, a 20-year-old University of Virginia senior who spent last week videotaping Allen's"listening tour"for the Webb campaign.
"This fellow over here with the yellow shirt _ Macaca or whatever his name is _ he's with my opponent,"Allen said."He's following us around everywhere."