Grayson apologizes for 'K street whore' remark

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) on Tuesday apologized for calling a former Enron lobbyist-turned-Federal Reserve Board adviser a "K Street whore."

The comment, made during a September radio interview unearthed on Monday, has subject Grayson to considerable scorn from women's groups and congressional Republicans alike.

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“I offer my sincere apology to Linda Robertson, an adviser to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke," Grayson said Tuesday in a statement. "I did not intend to use a term that is often, and correctly, seen as disrespectful of women."

“This characterization of Ms. Robertson, made during a radio interview last month in the context of the debate over whether the Federal Reserve should be independently audited, was inappropriate, and I apologize," he added.

Grayson is hardly a stranger to intense media and political scrutiny, but his remark about Robertson in particular had earned him the criticism of the National Organization for Women on Tuesday.

"Would he have singled out a male lobbyist and said the same thing?" Erin Matson, a vice president at NOW, told the AP.

The National Republican Convention (NRC) reacted similarly earlier in the day, calling Grayson's comment "disrespectful to women."

But the congressman's spokesman, Todd Jurkowski, initially defended Grayson's insult, which he suggested Robertson had provoked by questioning Grayson's economic credentials.

"She attacked the congressman and his efforts to promote a Republican bill to audit the Federal Reserve. She actually questioned his understanding of the difference between fiscal and monetary policy," Jurkowski told The Orlando Sentinel earlier in the day. "This is [a] person who used to be the chief lobbyist for Enron attacking the intelligence and motives of a congressman who used to be an economist."