Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean has apologized for his remark about wanting to be "the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks."
In a New York speech, Dean said he regretted the pain he'd caused. Later, in an interview with The Associated Press, Dean said: "That was an apology. You heard it from me." He said his remark had caused a lot of pain to people for whom the battle flag is a symbol of racism and slavery.
In the New York speech, the former Vermont governor said many African Americans understood what he was trying to say -- that the
Democratic party should be inclusive.
Rivals accuse Dean of saying too little, too late after he had declined in Tuesday night's debate to admit error.
Dean says the misunderstanding has been exploited by his rivals. Critics say Dean could've referred to the "bubba vote" and saved himself a lot of grief.