After he announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in January 2011, Allen answered questions from reporters during his first full day of media interviews also repeatedly apologizing for the comment. "I think I made a mistake. He was doing his job, and I made him part of the issue," Allen said to the AP in a story picked up by the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. "It wasn't done with malice. Had I known it was an offensive word, I would not have said it." So, while the issue carries much more sensitivity than other topics in the campaign and is not something he generally brings up on his own during stump speeches, the news value of Allen's actual apology is about the equivalent of reporting that he cited Thomas Jefferson in a speech.