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Rick Sanchez on ‘GMA': ‘I Screwed Up'; Calls Jon Stewart ‘Classy’

Ex-CNN host goes on “Good Morning America” in first public appearance since meltdown

Rick Sanchez made his first public appearance since last week’s satellite radio show meltdown that cost him his job at CNN, sitting down for an exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos on Friday’s “Good Morning America.”

“It’s tough — I screwed up, George,” a smiling Sanchez said at the top of the interview. “I was tired. I’d been working 14-hour days for like two and a half months. I was doing three shows. I was exhausted. It was right off the air. My daughter had a softball game I desperately wanted to go to and I was a little impatient.” (Worth noting: Lou Dobbs cited his own daughter yesterday while responding to the Nation’s report claiming he had employed illegal immigrants — a move that is apparently popular among ex-CNN hosts doing damage control.)

"CNN didn't screw up. Rick Sanchez screwed up," he said.

Calling Jon Stewart, who he had charged with being a bigot, "the classiest guy," he said: "I was wrong to scapegoat Jon Stewart. I was feeling a little bit put out … And I externalized the problem and put it on Jon Stewart's shoulders, and I was wrong to do that."

More from Sanchez:

"I said some things I shouldn’t have said. And they were wrong. And not only were they wrong, they were offensive. And people who were offended by it deserve to know that first of all that’s not what I meant. Second of all, I apologize. And it was wrong for me to be so careless and so inartful. But it happened, and you know what? I can’t take it back. And I have to stand up and be responsible for it."

Here's the full video of the segment: