From The Guardian:
Labour‘s election campaign was in disarray tonight after Gordon Brown was forced to apologise to a pensioner and lifelong party supporter whom he had described as “a bigoted woman” for questioning him over the scale of immigration from eastern Europe.
His contemptuous dismissal of Gillian Duffy, made in private but caught by a live broadcast feed, again raised questions about his volatile character and, more importantly, whether the Labour core vote would be repelled by his apparent indifference to their concerns.
Morale in the Labour campaign slumped as even some of Brown’s closest aides vented their fury at him, with one describing him as “a pathetic blame shifter”. Others voiced concern that it would appear that he was two-faced.
Sensing the damage he had inflicted on his already slim election chances, Brown wrote to party members to apologise. “I am under no illusions as to how much scorn some in the media will want to heap upon me in the days ahead. Many of you know me personally. You know I have strengths, as well as weaknesses. We all do,” he said.
Brown had met Duffy, 65, on the streets of Rochdale when she accosted him over a range of issues including the scale of debt, taxes and tuition fees. At one point during the discussion she referred to eastern Europeans “flocking” to Britain.
After an apparently pleasant conclusion to the conversation and closing his car door, Brown turned to his director of strategic communications, Justin Forsyth, declaring the event a “disaster” and demanding to know who was responsible for him meeting Duffy. He appeared to blame his longstanding aide Sue Nye.
Asked by Forsyth what Duffy had said he replied: “Oh everything, she was just a sort of bigoted woman. She said she used to be Labour. I mean it’s just ridiculous.”
Brown was then played back his remarks on a live Radio 2 phone-in. He covered his face with his hands, and said he blamed himself. He apologised to Duffy on the phone, and was then going to hold a press conference in Manchester to apologise again, before agreeing to drive back to Rochdale and say sorry to her in person.
Oh, Gordo, don’t feel so bad. After all, lots of politicians say really, really stupid things. In fact, some of them say them when they know everyone is listening!
At least you admitted that you said something stupid and apologized, Gordo. That’s something Princess Sarah Palin and Batshit Michele Bachmann will never do.