"I was wrong," Sweeney said to thunderous applause and laughter.
Sweeney hosted a a fund raiser headlined by John McCain, a man called the head of the "anti-New York, anti-northeast" caucus during the 2000 Presidential primary.
"As I said, you can be wrong in this business and you get do-overs. This is a do-over."
Sweeney is under increasing pressure from Democratic challenger Kirsten Gillibrand. So much so that he felt it necessary to bring in McCain for a kiss and make up session. So much so that his Deputy Chief of Staff Melissa Carlson felt it necessary to engage in a deliberate misinformation campaign regarding Gillibrand's own high profile fund raiser tonight.
Sweeney's deputy chief of staff, Melissa Carlson, said Gillibrand's camp canceled today's fundraiser with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., because of pressure exerted by Republicans. The Clifton Park GOP issued a release Thursday calling Emanuel, a Chicago congressman, "corrupt."
When will the media start calling Republicans like Sweeney and Carlson on their lies? The inability of Republicans like Sweeney to campaign on the issues is not excuse for their blatant falsehoods.
"Republicans are going to have a difficult challenge in this election." Gillibrand campaign manager Bill Hyers said his camp is shocked McCain would stump for Sweeney after the congressman's remarks in 2000.
"It's obvious that (Sweeney's) an endangered incumbent seeking to get any popular Republican that's out there," Hyers said.
Hyers said the accusation [against Emanuel] was ridiculous and that Emanuel couldn't come to the fundraiser because of a family emergency. Steny Hoyer, the House Democratic whip, will come to the Crown Plaza event in his place tonight, Hyers said.
In Saratoga, about 125 people picked at cold Asian chicken salad and chocolate chip cannolis for $150 a plate as McCain spoke.
Outside about 3 dozen "Swillionaires for Sweeney" organized by the Alliance for Democracy showed their "support."
Later that afternoon Sweeney and McCain joined State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno at a charity picnic in the Town of Brunswick, Rensselaer County.
Meanwhile, members of the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee, a local grassroots organization 20TrueBlue, and Democracy for the Hudson-Mohawk Region, canvassed the Town of Brunswick with Kirsten Gillibrand introducing her in Joe Bruno's backyard as a serious and intelligent alternative to the failed policies of Republican "leaders" like Sweeney, Bruno, Bush, and McCain.
Sweeney cannot hide from the fact his votes in Congress have been as "anti-New York" as John McCain's...
Outside, about 30 protesters hoisting picket signs and brooms said it was time to "clean out the House" by not re-electing Sweeney. Stillwater resident Lisa Scerbo cited Sweeney's support of CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), which passed by a 217-215 vote.
"How many New Yorkers lost their jobs over that," she said.
Scerbo said she was disappointed that McCain, who she used to respect, had cozied up to Sweeney.
For the record:
Democratic House Minority Whip the HONORABLE STENY HOYER cordially invites you to a reception honoring KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND Democratic candidate for Congress, NY 20
Sunday, May 21 from 5:30-7:00pm at the Crowne Plaza (corner of State and Lodge Streets)Albany, New York
You are all invited. See you there!