Chris Matthews apologizes for ‘stupid’ Sandy comments

Chris Matthews (AP)

Chris Matthews opened "Hardball" on Wednesday with a lengthy apology to viewers, pertaining to offensive comments he made on election night while talking about Hurricane Sandy's effect on President Barack Obama's re-election.

"I said something terrible," Matthews said at the top of his MSNBC show. "I said something not just stupid but wrong.."

On Tuesday while assessing Obama's victory, Matthews said he was "glad" Sandy happened because it showed undecided voters the president could come together with Republican leaders, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to help the superstorm's victims.

"I'm so glad we had that storm last week," Matthews said before attempting to clarify himself. "No, politically I should say. Not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics."

"Obviously I wasn't talking about the horror of the storm," Matthews tweeted on Wednesday.

On "Hardball," Matthews pointed out that he had been on the air for 10 straight hours on Tuesday, but did not blame fatigue:

I could say it was because I was tired, but the fact is I wasn't thinking of the horrible mess this storm has made of people's lives up here in New York and elsewhere. It's not 'til you read the local newspapers that you see and know the horror this has wreaked on people, good people. I grew up on the south Jersey Shore, have relatives living there now, but failed to see the even worse damage done further up the state and in Staten Island and other areas near here. It is truly horrible up here.

No. I was too deeply enmeshed in political thinking, deep in a world of numbers and issues and people and stakes and focused on who would win and who would lose. But I left out the number one job of anyone on air: To think about the lives, the real lives of people, their losses, their relatives and friends who died in this disaster, their dreams that have been hurt and even destroyed.

"I intend to take serious steps to show that I am sincere on this," he added. "Please believe me, I am determined to do what I can to help the people who have already been hurt enough, who are suffering and have suffered enough hardship without hearing stupid stuff from me."