Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) apologized to military veterans on Tuesday for his recent comments linking audiences for the film "American Sniper" to angry tea party enthusiasts.
Appearing on "Real Time With Bill Maher" last week, Dean said that there was maybe "a lot of intersection" between people seeing the movie and the tea party.
"There's a lot of anger in this country. And the people who go see this movie are people who are very angry," Dean said. "This guy basically says, 'I'm going to fight on your side.' They bite for it."
The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of Chris Kyle, who may have been the deadliest military sniper in U.S. history. Kyle was killed in 2013 by another veteran. The film has been nominated for several Academy Awards, including best picture.
After criticism from conservatives, including actor Gary Sinise, Dean apologized, acknowledging he hadn't seen the movie.
“I’ll apologize to the veterans. I haven’t seen the movie and I think I was wrong,” Dean said on the MSNBC show "Hardball." "I make no apologies to all of the right-wing nut-jobs that have been twittering me in nasty language, but I do apologize to the veterans.
"We owe them a lot and I think this movie was much more nuanced than I thought."
The film has been criticized for its portrayal of war, notably by filmmaker Michael Moore.