Democratic Representative John Murtha said Western Pennsylvania was nothing but a bunch of racists and spent a couple of days groveling for forgiveness. John McCain saw his opening and dove in. His plan was to bring them onboard. Of course, John McCain being John McCain, things didn't quite work out that way.
As TPM said:
You can see the glimmer of recognition of the flub, like he just chased Road Runner off the edge of the cliff. There's the split-second decision to try to pull off a miracle escape. But his legs stop spinning and gravity takes over and from there it's a long way down. For a guy who spent the last week reminding everyone he's not Bush, that's got to hurt.
I passed hot tea through my nose.
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