ABC News’ Bret Hovell Reports: Radio shock jock Don Imus returned to the airwaves Monday, and among his first guests was Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain.
"Welcome back, old friend," McCain said, who appeared frequently on Imus’ CBS radio program throughout the years.
Imus was fired from that iteration of his popular "Imus in the Morning" show after referring to members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," a comment Imus apologized for and said he regretted.
McCain, R-Ariz., was supportive of Imus from the first days of the controversy, saying at the time that he would appear again on the program.
"He has apologized. He has said he’s deeply sorry," McCain said during a Phoenix press conference in April. "I’m a great believer in redemption."
On Monday’s program, Imus asked McCain about, naturally, politics, and the shape of the Republican field.
“I think most of the folks you have on will tell you it’s probably has unpredictable as it’s ever been," McCain said.
He complimented rival Mike Huckabee, calling him a "very good guy" with a "good way about him," and spoke about last Wednesday’s CNN/YouTube debate, which he said was "kind of weird."
"But it apparently got a big audience and that’s what we’re trying to achieve," McCain said.
Imus pressed McCain on his position on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military’s policy on homosexuals who serve. McCain said that the military commanders believe Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is working, but Imus twice circled back, saying he wanted to know what McCain felt personally.
"As commander-in-chief I would rely on the recommendations of the military …" McCain said. "If they recommended reversing it, I would certainly consider reversing it."
Imus also asked McCain if he was having as much fun campaigning now as he did during his insurgent run in 2000, when he won the state of New Hampshire by 19 points over then-Governor George Bush.
"Oh yeah, we’re back," McCain said, alluding to problems that had caused his campaign to flounder over the summer.
"Some people had some success in portraying me as something that I wasn’t. And now that we’re back in the town hall meetings the face to face the retail politics, we’re coming on very well. I haven’t changed."