In 2002, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott caused a scandal after saying the country could have avoided “all these problems” if segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948. At Thurmond’s 100th birthday celebration, Lott said, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.” In 1948, Thurmond had run on a platform that said, "We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race." After much controversy, Lott said in a statement, "A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement." But the apology turned out to be too little too late, and Lott resigned as majority leader two weeks after the initial comments.