McCain makes belated appearance on Letterman show

Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:59pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Republican presidential nominee John McCain, whose abrupt cancellation of an appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" last month earned him endless ribbing from the comedian, was a guest on the show on Thursday and admitted his no-show was a mistake.

Three weeks ago, the Arizona senator pulled out of his appearance saying he had to hurry to Washington, yet he stayed in New York.

McCain and Letterman were good-natured and jovial as they finally met on the CBS television stage.

"I screwed up. What can I say?" McCain told Letterman during his appearance, set to air late Thursday evening.

"I have a son in the Marines, and I asked him to FedEx his helmet and flak jacket, but it didn't get here in time," he joked.

When McCain claimed last month he was rushing to Washington to deal with the financial crisis, he remained in New York, where he was interviewed by CBS news anchor Katie Couric.

The following morning, McCain appeared at former President Bill Clinton's philanthropic summit in the city.

In response, Letterman took repeated on-air shots at McCain for standing him up.   Continued...

<p>Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain speaks to host David Letterman during an appearance on "Late Show with David Letterman" in New York, October 16, 2008. REUTERS/CBS/John Paul Filo/Handout</p>