John Tanner, the shoot-from-the-lip chief of the Justice Department’s voting rights section, apologized Tuesday for saying minority voters “die first.”

Tanner admits his comments were “hurtful” and clumsy.”

He forgot to add “stupid.”

Apology for Remark About Black Voters – The chief of the Justice Department’s voting rights section apologized for saying that laws requiring voters to show identification affect elderly whites more than blacks because minority voters “die first.” The official, John Tanner, told a House Judiciary subcommittee that his comments at a Latino forum this month were “hurtful” and “clumsy,” but he stuck by his assertion that statistics show minorities have a shorter life expectancy. The apology did not mollify the panel’s Democrats, who accused Mr. Tanner of relying on stereotypes to justify policy. [Washington News]