Rep. Jim MoranJames (Jim) Patrick MoranThe Hill's Top Lobbyists 2020 Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Star-studded cast to perform play based on Mueller report MORE (D-Va.) said racism is to blame for Democrats' losses this past election cycle in an interview with an Arab TV network after President Obama's State of the Union address.

The Virginia Democrat told Alhurra that Republicans gained 63 seats in the House "for the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States." 

"The Civil War happened because the Southern states, particularly the slaveholding states, didn't want to see a president who was opposed to slavery," Moran said. "In this case a lot of people in this country, I believe, don't want to be governed by an African American, particularly one who is inclusive, who is liberal, who wants to spend money on everyone and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society." 

Several conservative outlets, including The Weekly Standard, first pointed out Moran's comments. 

A spokeswoman for Moran defended the comments in a statement, saying, "It is no secret that our country has and continues to struggle with racial equality." 

Moran told Alhurra that he's confident Democrats will "do better" in the next cycle.