'That was a disaster'
Never has Gordon Brown spoken truer words. He was describing his encounter with the soon-to-be-very famous Mrs Gillian Duffy of Rochdale.
It was, though, not the public encounter itself but the prime minister's private comments about it which were so disastrous.
On camera he handled himself and Ms Duffy's questions well leaving her so pleased that she was happy to tell reporters she'd be voting Labour.
Off camera but still on microphone the prime minister showed another face entirely - dubbing Mrs Duffy a bigoted woman and criticising his aide Sue Nye for fixing for them to meet.
The apology that followed in Jeremy Vine's radio interview was scarcely better. Perhaps unaware that he was being filmed, as well as heard, Gordon Brown could be seen with his head in his hands.
There are at least three reasons that this will have caused Gordon Brown and his advisers such dismay.
It highlights a huge gap between the prime minister's public and his private demeanours.
It catapults the issue of immigration to the top of the political agenda. Mrs Duffy had expressed concerns to him about the high level of East European immigration and her feeling that her home town was becoming like "a third world country".
Finally, the leader of the Labour Party has insulted one of the very type of voter it's so vital for his party to hang on to - older, white and traditionally Labour.
Of course, many may have some sympathy with the prime minister who had no idea that his private remarks would be heard let alone broadcast.
Some will say that words said in the heat of the moment in private at a time when he is tired and under great strain matter little.
Others will insist that it is Gordon Brown's judgements and actions and not his words and attitudes that matter.
My hunch is that is very very unlikely to comfort him as he fights for his political life.