Published September 02, 2009
Van Jones, the Obama administration's "green jobs" adviser, apologized Wednesday for calling Republicans "assholes," saying the comments were made before he joined the administration and "were clearly inappropriate."
Jones had told a group of listeners earlier in the year that the reason Republicans are stonewalling the president is because they're "assholes," remarks that were recorded in a video and posted to YouTube.
"I apologize for the offensive words I chose to use during that speech," Jones said in a written statement to Politico. "They do not reflect the views of this administration, which has made every effort to work in a bipartisan fashion, and they do not reflect the experience I have had since I joined the administration."
He made the remarks in February during an energy lecture in Berkeley, Calif., after a woman in the audience asked him why President Obama and congressional Democrats were having trouble moving legislation -- even though Republicans, with a smaller majority, didn't have as much trouble earlier in the Bush administration.
"Well, the answer to that is, they're assholes," Jones said, to uproarious laughter. "That's a technical, political science term."
The questioner responded, "I was afraid that that was the answer."
But Jones said that, even though Obama is "not an asshole," others have to step up the fight.
"Now, I will say this. I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity," he said.