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Carville accepts Lott's apology

Democratic strategist pledges end to criticism


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On CNN's Crossfire, Democratic strategist and co-host James Carville forgives Sen. Trent Lott for recent remarks implying support for segregation (December 18)
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic political strategist James Carville has responded to Sen. Trent Lott's apologies by forgiving the incoming Senate majority leader for statements he made at Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party.

Carville, also a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," faxed a letter to Lott's office Wednesday, both accepting the senator's apology and pledging not to criticize him further for comments made recently or for comments Lott has made in the past on the issue of race.

"If, as you have claimed, your recent troubles have truly spurred you to seek redemption and find ways to improve race relations in this country, I applaud you," Carville wrote.

"Remember, Senator, we all make errors. Committing errors is not a tragedy, but failing to learn from them is a grave one. You say you've learned. I believe you. That settles it."

The controversy stems from Lott's December 5 birthday praise of Thurmond, R-South Carolina, and drew charges of racism from the African-American community and a series of apologies from Lott himself.

In his tribute, Lott suggested that the United States would have been better off had it elected Thurmond -- then a segregationist -- president on the Dixiecrat ticket in 1948. On Tuesday, a two-year-old videotape surfaced that showed Lott making similar comments.

Carville said his decision to send the letter was at least partly influenced by the comments of Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who accepted Lott's apology earlier in the week.

Carville spoke with Lewis by phone after the congressman issued his statement accepting Lott's apology. Carville says that going forward, he will continue to speak out on policy disagreements between himself and Lott.

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