A freshman GOP lawmaker said he chose his words poorly when he said that he had trouble supporting his family on his congressional salary at a town-hall meeting last week.

Rep. Sean Duffy (Wis.) came under heavy scrutiny from Democrats after video emerged of him saying he was "struggling" to live off his six-figure salary at a February town-hall meeting.

ADVERTISEMENT
"In context, my words were admittedly poorly chosen," Duffy told The Wausau Daily Herald over the weekend. According to the paper, he also claimed he did not complain about his salary.

Democrats immediately pounced on Duffy's comments, accusing him of being out of touch with voters in his district who are struggling to make ends meet.

"How can Representative Sean Duffy make critical decisions in Washington when he has no clue what Wisconsin working families are facing in his district?” said Haley Morris, of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “While Wisconsinites are taking pay cuts and still making ends meet, Representative Sean Duffy is pushing for an extreme partisan agenda that does nothing to create jobs. This report shows exactly how far from reality Representative Sean Duffy’s struggle really is."

Democrats and news outlets heightened scrutiny of Duffy, a former cast member on MTV's "Real World," after the local Republican committee that hosted the town hall asked that the video of the lawmaker's comments be pulled.

Duffy swiped at his opponents for using the incident to attack him.

"I'm not going to play the political games because I think my constituents will judge based on my actions as opposed to press releases," he said.

Duffy is a top target for Democrats heading in to the 2012 elections. He won election in a district held for four decades by Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), who retired in 2010.

After Republicans made big gains in Wisconsin in 2010, Democrats are looking to turn the state back to blue, especially following the heated debate over GOP Gov. Scott Walker's controversial union law.

h/t TPMDC