NEW YORK – New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says he's sorry he used the term "hole in the ground" to describe the World Trade Center site.
"I wish I would have basically said that it was an undeveloped site, which it is," he said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Nagin had criticized efforts to redevelop the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11 attacks when confronted about delays in rebuilding his city after Hurricane Katrina.
During a "60 minutes" interview, a CBS correspondent pointed out flood-damaged cars still on the streets of New Orleans' devastated Ninth Ward. Nagin replied, "You guys in New York can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be fair," according to CBS.
The "60 Minutes" interview aired Sunday night. Text and a video clip from it were posted on CBS' Web site Thursday.
Nagin told NBC he didn't mean to offend anyone.
"I meant no disrespect for anyone," he said. "I have seen death, I have the destruction, and I was just using it as a comparison to show how difficult it is for people to rebuild after a major disaster."
He said he was sorry to the families of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and believe the World Trade Center site is sacred ground.