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Dan Rather Apologizes for 'Watermelons' Comment

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather apologized for his choice of words on Sunday's Chris Matthews Show when he used an analogy of selling watermelons on the side of the road to describe President Obama and healthcare.

Speaking on the GOP's expected strategy against Democrats in elections this fall, Rather said Republicans would describe President Obama as "a nice person ... very articulate" but an ineffective leader who "couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic."

On Wednesday, Rather apologized in an article he posted on HuffingtonPost.com.

"It's an expression that stretches to my boyhood roots in Southeast Texas, when country highways were lined with stands manned by sellers of all races," Rather wrote.

"Now of course watermelons have become a stereotype for African Americans and so my analogy entered a charged environment. I'm sorry people took offense."

Rather's comment had raised some eyebrows on media blogs, which noted the potential "racial minefield."

"But anyone who knows me personally or knows my professional career would know that race was not on my mind," Rather said.