Congressman Collin Peterson, a Democrat in the conservative 7th District in the western part of Minnesota, was quoted yesterday in Politico with a crack that was bound to alienate many of his constituents:
Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down, said Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who represents a conservative Republican district in Minnesota. That’s why I don’t do town meetings.
Sure enough, the outcry came quickly, with state Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton saying Peterson was “out of touch and disconnected.”
So Peterson apologized in a statement through his Washington office that was published by the Grand Forks Herald:
If anyone was offended by my off-handed comment, I sincerely apologize I certainly wasn’t trying to make fun of anyone. What I was talking about was simply that there are people in Minnesota’s Seventh District who have called me and talked to me about this question. The other point I was trying to make is that there are people in the Seventh District who freely identify themselves as outside the mainstream on the left and on the right who try to hijack public forums like town hall meetings. That’s why I do my district meetings on specific topics and in a variety of forums. People in my district know me and they know they can reach me at meetings that happen all around the Seventh District.