(It's probably been said better elsewhere, too.)
Just because you have the /right/ to say something doesn't always mean you /should/ say it. And freedom of speech or of the press doesn't mean that if others disagree with you, they're taking away your rights. They have a right to their opinion that what you said was distasteful or rude or flabbergastingly disgusting as a human being.
This applies to more than one situation, although I'm sure everyone knows at least one situation where it applies in their lives. But saying something that could reasonably (or obviously) be considered rude and then being surprised or backtracking and saying you meant something else is not only even more rude, it's rather disingenious and makes the person saying it look like a complete idiot.