POLITICS
09/01/2013 11:30 am ET

George H.W. Bush Spokesman Apologizes For Nelson Mandela Statement

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15:  Former President George H. W. Bush sits in a wheelchair during an event in the East Room at the Wh
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Former President George H. W. Bush sits in a wheelchair during an event in the East Room at the White House, July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Bush joined President Obama in hosting the event to honor the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award winner. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush apologized after mistakenly issuing a statement on the death of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who was discharged from the hospital on Sunday.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for Bush, told the Washington Post on Sunday that he had misread a news alert on Mandela's condition from the Washington Post and rushed to get a statement out.

According to USA Today, the statement read:

"Barbara and I mourn the passing of one of the greatest believers in freedom we have had the privilege to know. As President, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment — setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all. He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country. Barbara and I had great respect for President Mandela, and send our condolences to his family and countrymen."

“I just made a very stupid mistake, I’m very sorry about that. My apologies to everyone at The Washington Post,” McGrath told the Post. “I apologize, because I know a put a lot of people into a modestly stressful position, which is never my intent for my friends in the media .. So I'm sorry about that. A massive egg on my face, I'm so sorry.”

Mandela, who had been hospitalized since June with a recurring lung infection, returned to his home in Johannesburg on Sunday. He remains in critical condition.

HuffPost

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