When Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took some heat for jokingly referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "monkey" on Twitter Monday, the senior Arizona senator and former Republican presidential nominee told his critics to "lighten up."
Responding to reports that Ahmadinejad wants to be his country's first astronaut, McCain linked to a story about Iran launching a monkey into space.
So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space - wasn't he just there last week? "Iran launches monkey into space" news.yahoo.com/iran-launches-…— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 4, 2013
After some users on Twitter suggested that the joke carried racist overtones, McCain pushed back less than an hour later.
Re: Iran space tweet - lighten up folks, can't everyone take a joke?— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 4, 2013
Update: Republican Congressman Justin Amash swiftly denounced McCain on Twitter, telling the Arizona senator to "wisen up" and stop making "racist jokes."