After screaming to the Internet that former Rep. Gabby Giffords's visit to Newtown on Friday was some kind of an underhanded political move, Newtown's State Representative DebraLee Hovey is apologizing — and there are a couple big "if"s involved. Hovey issued a half-true statement Monday afternoon after the instant reaction to her Facebook message about a visit by Giffords and local lawmakers, which Hovey appeared to send from vacation:
Hovey later added this in the comments:
Of course, no one's going to win points by calling out one of America's most beloved gunshot victims, which is why Hovey apologized today. She also couched her original comments as having to do with "the privacy of the families and our community" — like so:
The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford's visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize ... My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally. Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes. This is what I wish to avoid.
She certainly did offend a lot of people — "disgrace" was a frequently invoked reaction — and the privacy excuse might not fly with Hovey's critics, since, according to the AP report of Giffords's visit, Giffords met with the families in private, and the families were not named.
Screenshots via The Hartford Courant.