State Sen. Kim Hendren, the top GOP candidate against Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), has admitted referring to Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: Trump should take Kim Jong Un off 'trip coin' Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' Free traders applaud Trump as China tariff threat recedes MORE (D-N.Y.) as "that Jew."

First reported by conservative blogger Jason Tolbert, Hendren confirmed to the Associated Press that he used the term in a speech at a meeting of the Pulaski County Republicans.

"At the meeting, I was attempting to explain that, unlike Sen. Schumer, I believe in traditional values, like we used to see on 'The Andy Griffith Show,'" Hendren said, according to Tolbert. "I made the mistake of referring to Sen. Schumer as 'that Jew' and I should not have put it that way as this took away from what I was trying to say."

Hendren told the Associated Press that he meant nothing derogatory by the reference to Schumer's heritage.

''I ought not to have referred to it at all,'' Hendren said. ''When I referred to him as Jewish, it wasn't because I don't like Jewish people.''

-Aaron Blake