President Obama was described as “exotic” by one senator from a Southern state during a closed-door meeting, Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinDemocrats are all talk when it comes to DC statehood The Hill's 12:30 Report Distance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday MORE (D-Iowa) claimed Wednesday.

Harkin said the remark was made at a private event attended by nearly the entire Senate on filibuster reform.

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“I'm not naming any names, but one senator got up from a Southern state and said, ‘Well, you've got to understand that to my people down here, Obama seems like he's exotic,’ ” Harkin told the Des Moines Register’s editorial board on Wednesday. “That he's just exotic, he doesn't share our values.”

Harkin spoke in response to a question about polarization in Congress. He said the Congress hadn’t been this polarized since the Civil War.