The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Sunday that "it's wrong" for Democrats to accuse Republicans of waging a "war on women."
"Yes, that is wrong. And I've never said it, not one time," Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union."
Cleaver made the statement when asked directly about Democratic claims that recent GOP legislation on abortion and other issues is tantamount to a campaign against women.
"I condemn it. If it's a Democrat, if it's my cousin, it's wrong," Cleaver said. "And I think we need to stop that. It is damaging the body politic and it's further separating the people in this country."
Cleaver urged lawmakers and politicians to dial back the campaign-season rhetoric.
"We've got to quit exaggerating our political differences," he said. "If you believe that the president is a Christian ... you still come to the belief that he's trying to destroy religion in this country? I think we've got to stop it. That is not doing this country this any good at all."