backpedal

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backpedal

To quickly and often abruptly reverse or retreat from one's position or opinion on a given subject. Refers to pedaling backwards on a bicycle (done to apply the brakes on fixed-gear bikes), or to taking quick, backward steps, as in football or boxing. The actor had to backpedal when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The bloc considers the UN proposal for the allocation of one seat for each of the Arab and Turkmen constituents among the compensatory seats and the non-allocation of seats for the Kurds as a strange backpedaling on the mission's stance in Iraq," the head of the Kurdistan Islamic Union bloc, Saadi al-Barzanji, said in a press conference held at the Baghdad-based Conferences Palace, which was attended by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
The FRC had little choice but to begin backpedaling. The CultureFacts newsletter with the offending language was quickly removed from the group's website.
Had Harnack's views prevailed, Catholics would still be backpedaling. If history is bunk, if Jewish, Greek, and other influences on the gospel and church are to be peeled away in the search for a pure essence of apostolic truth, how was the modern Catholic to defend the seven sacraments, the monarchical papacy, the cult of Mary, and so much else that had become synonymous with Catholicism?
Herman, assistant to the President and director of the Office of Public Liaison, promptly squashed reports that Clinton had backslid on his policy of "mend, but don't end." She insists that "there has been no backpedaling in this administration."
Even The Washington Post has been frantically backpedaling from the ozone hysteria.
The same deal may go down over "global warming." Though scientists right and left are backpedaling from predictions of a "greenhouse effect" raising global temperatures, the Clinton administration has yet to repudiate its desire for the U.S.
But it will also provide a test for Clinton and his administration: While the administration's backpedaling in April on its plans to raise grazing fees and charge royalties for precious metals may have been a good faith gesture to ensure support for the larger economic plan, failing to confront the concessionaires will show little more than timidity in taking on special interests.
The coach will then give the signal for the receiver to start backpedaling. As the receiver backpedals, the defender will backpedal, keeping his eyes focused on the receiver's hip.
Sprinting and cutting are used in just about every sport, but you also have to remember the very specific skills that your athletes will have to perform on the field or court, such as shuffling, stopping, pivoting, faking, spinning, cross-over running, backpedaling, etc.
The story also pointed out how Bush's occasional backpedaling from antigay stands brought immediate and furious ire from the religious right.
They can also be used for backpedaling and several combinations of all of the above.
The outfielders have priority over the infielders on pop-ups between them because it is easier coming in on a fly ball than catching one while backpedaling.