By Derrick DePledge
Gov. Neil Abercrombie apologized on Monday for casting doubt on a letter from U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye that urged the governor to name U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his successor.
Abercrombie told the Los Angeles Times in an interview last week that whether the letter “could be construed as Sen. Inouye’s dying wish — let me put it this way — is problematic.”
“I apologize to the late Senator Inouye, his wife Irene, his family, friends, and former staff for the comments I made concerning the letter,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “I regret that my comments were interpreted as hurtful and disrespectful to them. That was certainly not my intent. Sen. Inouye was, without a doubt, one of the finest leaders in Hawaii’s history, and a mentor to me.
“Selection of Sen. Inouye's successor was one of the most difficult decisions of my political career. I had three worthy nominees from the Democratic Party to select from. In my discussions with Senator Inouye, it was clear that he preferred Colleen Hanabusa. In the end, however, he told me, as governor, you have to make the decision you think is best for the people of Hawaii."