WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer has apologized for saying a black Senate candidate "slavishly" supported the Republican Party.
Hoyer, D-Md., said no offense was intended in his remarks about Republican Senate candidate and current Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, CNN reported Wednesday.
"I should not have used those words," Hoyer said in a statement.
Doug Heye, a spokesman for Steele, said Hoyer's comments were "insensitive and pretty stupid."
"This is nothing new for Steny Hoyer," said Heye. Heye referred back to 2002, when Hoyer was quoted as calling Steele a "token" candidate. Hoyer insisted at the time that the quote was out of context.
Hoyer's apology Tuesday continued to criticize Steele politically.
"If Mr. Steele did in fact take offense, let me assure him that none was intended," Hoyer said. "But Mr. Steele continuously tries to divert attention from the fact that he is an unwavering supporter of the Republican agenda and of President Bush and Vice President Cheney."