Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.) said Thursday he was "very surprised" his joke about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dying attracted a large amount of attention, but that he would not apologize for it.
Bright, a centrist Blue Dog who voted against the healthcare law, said at a local Chamber of Commerce event last week, "Heck, she might even get sick and die" when asked whether he would vote for Pelosi (D-Calif.) again for Speaker.
“I’ve never intended any malicious will at all, toward anybody,” Bright said at a local jobs fair, according to the Dothan Eagle. “It was never meant the way it has blown up. It was simply a list of things that could happen."
The comment was one of the most extreme examples of a Democrat running for reelection in a red state distancing himself from Pelosi.
Some observers said that Bright's comments were insensitive. Bright told the Eagle he has not spoken to Pelosi since his remark and said he does not plan to apologize for it.
“There is nothing to apologize for. There was no ill will behind it,” he said.
“I have a strong feeling she knows it was taken out of proportion,” Bright added. “This is the time of the political season when those kinds of things happen.”
Bright said the reaction to the comments in his district has been "nothing but positive."
“Nothing but positive feedback from my district, and I think that is because the people are smart enough to know how it was meant, and I think people know I am not one of the establishment. I am one of them.”