A Republican state senator from Pennsylvania refused to apologize for calling billionaire Democratic megadonor George Soros “a Hungarian Jew” with “a hatred for America” following the accusations of anti-Semitism.
Sen. Scott Wagner, who’s seeking next year’s Republican nomination for governor, spoke with The York Daily Record on Monday and suggested people are overreacting over his comments.
“Everybody's getting their knickers around their ankles over this and there's no reason for that,” he said.
The senator’s comments were recorded by someone from an opposition tracker during a tomato festival in Pittston, Pennsylvania last week.
The Democratic Party in the state denounced Wagner and his comments, saying they were anti-Semitic.
Wagner, however, insisted that if Soros had been Catholic he would have called him a Hungarian Catholic – meaning no offense.
He added that his comments should not be interpreted as racist, also noting his long history of donating to the local Jewish Community Center.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.