Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) made light of airport security "love pats" at a Wednesday Transportation Security Administration hearing on Capitol Hill. But the Missouri Democrat tells FOX News she takes those "love pats" seriously.

The TSA is under fire for full-body scanning at airport security checkpoints. Critics say the security measure violates passenger privacy, but McCaskill favors the technique over TSA's only alternative - more hands-on body checks.

"I've had my love pats every single flight I have taken," McCaskill, who says she draws extra attention from airport screeners because of her knee replacement, related at the hearing. "So, I am wildly excited about the notion that I can walk through a machine instead of getting my dose of love pats."

"It was a bad joke about a very serious subject. I shouldn't have made light of this subject, because it is of concern to Americans," the lawmaker said on FOX & Friends Thursday, adding that balancing safety and privacy is a "difficult job" for the government. "I think mistakes have been made both ways, frankly, not doing enough, and sometimes doing too much."

"I'm going to continue to push for the next type of technology where that figure they see is a stick figure as opposed to a more complete image," McCaskill continued, referring to the revealing image displayed by the current batch of body scanners. "But it is nice for me not to have to stop for the pat."