The Washington Times - October 3, 2013, 12:29PM

Rep. Marlin Stutzman on Thursday tried to walk back his comment this week that Republicans are fighting the spending battle because the GOP was “disrespected,” but Democrats seized on his remark, mockingly apologizing to the Indiana congressman.

“If I disrespected Marlin Stutzman, I’m sorry,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, while Sen. Patty Murray offered to engage in a “group hug” with Mr. Stutzman if it would help.

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On Wednesday, Mr. Stutzman told the Washington Examiner that the GOP was not going to back down in the fight.

“We’re not going to be disrespected,” the second-term congressman said. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

On Thursday the congressman released a statement saying he goofed.

“Yesterday, I carelessly misrepresented the ongoing budget debate and Speaker Boehner’s work on behalf of the American people,” Mr. Stutzman said. “Despite my remarks, it’s clear that the American people want both parties to come to the table to reopen the government, tackle this nation’s debt crisis, and stop Obamacare’s pain.”