GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) reportedly directed a few profane insults toward President Obama's healthcare law in a speech late last week.
During at an appearance at an event sponsored by the Utah State University College Republicans, Hatch was asked whether he thought the nation's healthcare system needs serious reforms. He acknowledged that states have different problems when it comes to healthcare, but called the federal law Democrats passed last year a "dumb-ass program" that will not solve them.
Hatch apologized for swearing, according to the Statesman. Hatch explained that "he does not swear often. He said he is passionate about the health care debate and would repent for using the words that he did," the Statesman wrote.
Hatch's office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.
The senior Utah senator currently serves as ranking member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, but could face a tough primary challenge from the right when he is up for reelection in 2012.
Hatch has opposed the healthcare law from the get-go, but he has reached out to Tea Party activists in order to display his conservative credentials to the grassroots activists.
Tea Partiers helped propel Mike Lee to GOP convention victory over then-Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) last year. Lee won the general election and joined the newly-formed Senate Tea Party Caucus this year.
Hatch told the Utah State audience he is ready for the challenge of running for a seventh term.
"Anybody who wants to can run against me, that's their right, but all I can say is I intend to win," he said. "When people look at what I've done, what I can do and how hard I've worked, I they're going to say, ‘Hey, that experience is good for Utah and the nation as well.'"