*The Republican congressman who shouted “baby killer” at Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) during his speech on the House floor Sunday night outed himself on Monday and offered an explanation that few are buying.
Randy Neugebauer, a three-term member of Congress from Texas, issued a statement of apology on Monday, saying that his words were not directed at Stupak.
“In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase ‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership,” Neugebauer said. “I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself.” [View clip below and judge for yourself.]
While reporting the story on Monday, various news anchors mentioned that their correspondents in the House chamber did not hear the congressman say “it’s a” before the words “baby killer.”
Stupak, an anti-abortion Democrat who struck a deal with the White House in exchange for a “yes” vote on the bill, had taken to the floor to deliver a speech opposing a Republican amendment that would have reintroduced stricter abortion financing language in the bill — language that Stupak, himself, previously introduced.
Here is the full statement of Neugebauer’s apology:
“Last night was the climax of weeks and months of debate on a health care bill that my constituents fear and do not support. In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase ‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership. While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself.
“I have apologized to Mr. Stupak and also apologize to my colleagues for the manner in which I expressed my disappointment about the bill. The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate.”