-He didn't mean it as a slight.
-He is shocked that anyone took it that way.
-He personally wrote the "apology" during conference yesterday shortly after it became obvious that there was a negative reaction, but he didn't issue it for hours because "nobody asked for it."
-He only meant to say that Amy Winehouse had an addiction problem and Congress has an addiction problem (to spending).
Long told Chad Elliott and Josh Marsh of KZRG, the reaction to the Amy Winehouse tweet took him totally by surprise. "I am upset anyone took it as a slight," he said. "I didn't dream that would be their take or I never would have said it."
Long tweeted, "No one could reach #AmyWinehouse before it was too late. Can anyone reach Washington before it's too late? Both addicted - same fate???"
Long said he was not trying to politicize Ms. Winehouse's death. "If it was in poor taste, I apologize. She was one of the few true artists to come out in several years."
The "true artist" reference was also included in the non-apology apology Long issued Monday night:
"Although I do believe spending 42 percent more than we take in is an addiction, I certainly meant no disrespect to Amy, her family or her fans. She was one of the few true artists to come along in a long time. What happened to her was a senseless tragedy and drawing an analogy wasn't meant to minimize the loss of life. If anyone took offense, I sincerely apologize."Long said his mention of Ms. Winehouse was inspired by news programs he had seen featuring her family and friends talking about their efforts to get help for the troubled singer and he wondered if Congress would get help for its addiction problem before it's too late.