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U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) finds himself in some hot water this afternoon following a Tweet he wrote about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Basically, he likened Ahmadinejad to a space monkey.

Iran claimed in January that it shot a monkey into space, while Ahmadinejad vocalized his desire to be the first person Iran sends there when the time comes.

John McCain, Meghan McCain, and Bridget McCain

“So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?” tweeted McCain in reference to both of these recent stories.

 

Ahmadinejad actually wouldn’t be the first Iranian in space – Anousheh Ansari paid $20 million for a Russian Soyuz trip to the International Space Station in 2006.

But that’s beside the point.

Many felt McCain’s joke was in poor taste, or even racist. Others pointed out the joke was apparently used by TV host Jimmy Kimmel in recent days.

The 76-year-old former GOP presidential candidate then issued a follow-up: “Re: Iran space tweet … lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?”

Should they? Or should McCain apologize?