Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Friday apologized for calling supporters of ObamaCare “the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met.”
“Yesterday, I made a poorly worded joke about Obamacare supporters — a joke that was not reflective of my actual feelings towards my friends on the other side,” Hatch said in a statement.
“Throughout my term of service, I have always recognized the importance of civility, particularly in engaging with those of different political perspectives,” he continued. “While I occasionally slip up, I believe that my legislative record reflects my commitment to bipartisanship and civility much than my flippant, off-the-cuff comment.”
Hatch’s original comments, made during a speech Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, caused a stir.
“[We] finally did away with the individual mandate tax that was established under that wonderful bill called ObamaCare,” Hatch said during his remarks. “Now, if you didn’t catch on, I was being very sarcastic. That was the stupidest, dumbass bill that I’ve ever seen.”
“Some of you may have loved it,” he continued. “If you do, you are one of the stupidest, dumbass people I’ve ever met. And there are a lot of them up there on Capitol Hill from time to time.”
Hatch, 83, announced last month that he would retire after this year. The Senate Finance Committee chairman played an integral role in efforts to pass the GOP tax bill in December that repealed ObamaCare’s individual mandate, which required most people to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty.