By Cameron Joseph - 10/01/13 08:58 PM EDT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has apologized to a group of Filipino military veterans for his comparison of his 21-hour Senate floor speech to the Bataan death march.
The Texas senator thanked staffers and Capitol Hill workers for putting up with him at the end of his quasi-filibuster last week by comparing it to the infamous World War II forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war.
"I apologize for causing offense. I should not have said what I did," Cruz tells veterans in a video posted online.
Cruz explained he was thanking Senate floor staff, police officers and pages that had been forced to stay in the Senate for enduring "a long period of suffering not of their choosing" during his speech, and that it was not his intention to cause offense.
Cruz says he also comes "from a family that has experienced the atrocities that one man can inflict on another," citing the torture of his father and aunt in Cuba. "It was not my intention to make light of it."
The Bataan Death March wasn't the only World War II reference that caused controversy. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor to complain about Cruz's comparison during the speech of Republicans who weren't supporting his tactics to those who sought to appease the Nazis during the 1940s.