RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A former Democratic National Committee chairman apologized Sunday for suggesting that Hurricane Gustav's expected arrival as Republicans prepare to open their national convention is a sign God favors Democrats.

During a flight from Denver to North Carolina last Friday, Don Fowler — who was DNC chair in 1995 and 1996 — was recorded telling a fellow passenger that it appears Gustav will make landfall on Monday.

"That just demonstrates that God is on our side," Fowler added, according to a video posted on YouTube under the headline: "Fowler Fouls: Hurricane is God's Favor To Democrats."

The person who recorded the conversation is not identified. The person whom Fowler was talking to is not visible in the video, but was identified on the conservative Web site www.redstate.com as Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C.

On Sunday, Fowler told The Associated Press that he was making fun of comments made by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said the attacks were God's punishment for abortion, homosexuality and other sins.