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NEW YORK — David Letterman kept up his verbal assault on John McCain, commiserating with Paris Hilton and saying he felt like an “ugly date” because the GOP presidential candidate backed out of an appearance on the “Late Show.”
The late-night CBS comedian was upset Wednesday when McCain canceled an appearance to deal with the economic crisis. After backing out of the Letterman show, McCain sat for an interview with Katie Couric, then didn’t leave New York until Thursday, further angering Letterman.
At first, Letterman said, he felt like a “patriot” to let McCain off.
“Now I’m feeling like an ugly date,” Letterman said. “I feel used. I feel cheap. I feel sullied.”
McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace said the campaign “felt this wasn’t a night for comedy.”
“We deeply regret offending Mr. Letterman, but our candidate’s priority at this moment is to focus on this crisis,” Wallace said Thursday on NBC’s “Today.”
Later Thursday, Letterman banged away at McCain in his opening monologue.
“You’re here on a good night,” he told the audience. “So far none of our guests have canceled.”
He talked about daredevil David Blaine’s feat of hanging upside-down in New York’s Central Park for 60 hours.
“They just left the guy hanging there,” he said. “It’s the same thing McCain did to me last night.”
He described Hilton — Thursday’s guest whose celebrity was once used in a McCain campaign ad to mock Democrat Barack Obama — as McCain’s first choice for a running mate.
“Here’s how it works: You don’t come to see me? You don’t come to see me? Well, we might not see you on Inauguration Day,” Letterman said.
Noting that McCain wanted to postpone Friday’s first debate with Obama, Letterman said running mate Sarah Palin wanted to put off her debate with Democrat Joe Biden until after Election Day. Letterman said Palin’s meeting with world leaders at the United Nations was like “take-your-daughter-to-work day.”
Letterman’s Top 10 list was “surprising facts about Sarah Palin,” read by citizens of Wasilla, Alaska, where she was once mayor.
No. 10: Palin “sometimes calls John McCain grandpa.”
Later in the show, Letterman couldn’t resist another mention of “that John McCain” while chatting with Hilton, who replied, “I heard he dissed you. He dissed me.”
Milking the moment, Letterman consoled her: “You had a little run-in with him, too, didn’t you?”
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