WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. - Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he does not think Republican state senators are "bastards," saying a comment he made using that word was invoking a well-known saying and not an insult.
At an event Wednesday in the Wisconsin Dells, Evers said he was angry last week after the GOP-controlled Senate fired his agriculture secretary, Brad Pfaff. He met with state workers and told them not to let the "bastards" impede their work.
When asked about it Wednesday, Evers defended his comments. He said: "It's not something I just pulled out of thin air. It's a saying, it's a thing. I don't think they're bastards, but I do think they made a huge mistake doing what they did to Brad Pfaff."
Evers told reporters Pfaff's firing was a "political assassination" but said he believed all his other Cabinet secretaries would be confirmed by the Senate.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Evers is being "shockingly disrespectful."
After learning of the comments Wednesday, Fitzgerald released a statement saying, "The governor should immediately make clear if he stands behind his closed-door remarks and thinks that members of my caucus are 'bastards.' Either way, it's becoming increasingly clear that the governor's public rhetoric doesn't match what he says when he thinks no one is listening."
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