Sen. Hatch apologizes for 'stupidest, dumbass' comment

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, apologized on Friday for calling Obamacare supporters the "stupidest, dumbass" people that he's ever seen.

"Yesterday, I made a poorly worded joke about Obamacare supporters — a joke that was not reflective of my actual feelings towards my friends on the other side," the 83-year-old lawmaker said in a prepared statement.

"Throughout my term of service, I have always recognized the importance of civility, particularly in engaging with those of different political perspectives. While I occasionally slip up, I believe that my legislative record reflects my commitment to bipartisanship and civility much more than my flippant, off-the-cuff comment."

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Orrin Hatch
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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch listens as U.S. President Donald Trump and his economic team meet with members committee at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
UNITED STATES - APRIL 16: Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is interviewed by the press before the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol. Hatch said he intends to support President Barack Obama's choice for federal appeals court in Washington, Sri Srinivasan. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT), from left, Barak Obama (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) talk in the U.S. Capitol on the opening day of the legislative session on Thursday, January 4, 2006, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chuck Kennedy/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama embraces Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy before signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at the SEED School in Washington, DC, on April 21, 2009. Standing alongside are Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. AFP PHOTO / Saul Loeb (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lamar Alexander (R-LA) await the start gather prior to an arrival ceremony for the casket of the late Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor inside the Rotunda in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018 REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump celebrates with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Congressional Republicans after the U.S. Congress passed sweeping tax overhaul legislation on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch (R-UT) greets Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) before Alex Azar II testifies on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump and Senator Orrin Hatch step from Air Force One upon arrival in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), R, listens to remarks from ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR), L, during a markup on the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (C) attends a press conference accompanied by Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) following the Republicans weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions greets Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) prior to testifying before a Senate Judiciary oversight hearing on the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(L-R) Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, introduce the Republican tax reform plan at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, arrives before a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin�said the Internal Revenue Service will issue guidance within the next two weeks to prevent hedge-fund managers from dodging new tax rules on carried-interest profits. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, speaks during a tax bill passage event with U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Republican congressional members of the House and Senate on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. House Republicans passed the most extensive rewrite of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years, hours after the Senate passed the legislation, handing Trump his first major legislative victory. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 28: (L-R) Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) talk with reporters following the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon in the U.S. Capitol November 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Republicans in the Senate hope to pass their tax cut legislation this week and work with the House of Representatives to get a bill to President Donald Trump before Christmas. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, speaks to members of the media after a weekly GOP luncheon meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said GOP members are optimistic that including the repeal of the individual mandate imposed by the Obamacare law in a tax overhaul would be helpful. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 09: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (R) listens to Chairman of Senate Finance Committee Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (L) during a meeting with members of the Senate Finance Committee November 9, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the tax reform plan. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 18: Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks with reporters as he arrives for lunch with Senate Republicans in the Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, made the comment while speaking about the GOP tax overhaul at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday.

"We also finally did away with the individual mandate, a tax that was established under that wonderful bill called 'Obamacare,'" Hatch said. "That (Obamacare) was the stupidest, dumbass bill that I've ever seen. Now, some of you may have loved it. If you do, you are one of the stupidest, dumbass people I've ever met, and there are a lot of them up there on Capitol Hill from time to time."

Hatch announced in January that he will retire at the end of his term this year, ending months of speculation about his political future. Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 and a former governor of Massachusetts, announced in February that he was running for Hatch's seat.

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Protests for and against Obamacare
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Protests for and against Obamacare

Tea Party Patriots supporters hold signs protesting the Affordable Care Act in front of the Supreme Court as the court hears arguments on the health care reform bill on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Affordable Care Act supporters wave signs outside the Supreme Court after the court upheld court's Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A man holds signs during a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today is the second of three days the high court has set aside to hear six hours of arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sister Caroline attends a rally with other supporters of religious freedom to praise the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby, contraception coverage requirement case on June 30, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby, which operates a chain of arts-and-craft stores, challenged the provision and the high court ruled 5-4 that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

An Obamacare supporter counter protests a Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the morning hours of March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Affordable Care Act supporters hold up signs outside the Supreme Court as they wait for the court's decision on Obamacare on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ron Kirby holds a sign while marching in protest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A protester waves his bible in the air as he overpowered by cheers from supporters of the Affordable Care Act as they celebrate the opinion for health care outside of the Supreme Court in Washington,Thursday June 25, 2015. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Nuns, who are opposed to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and other supporters rally outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated case brought by religious groups challenging a process for opting out of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

(Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters of contraception rally before Zubik v. Burwell, an appeal brought by Christian groups demanding full exemption from the requirement to provide insurance covering contraception under the Affordable Care Act, is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington March 23, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Protestors hold placards challenging 'Obamacare' outside of the US Supreme Court on March 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court heard a second challenge to US President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The US Supreme Court faces a momentous case Wednesday on the sweeping health insurance reform law that President Barack Obama wants to leave as part of his legacy. The question before the court is whether the seven million people or more who subscribed via the government's website can obtain tax subsidies that make the coverage affordable. A ruling is expected in June.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 Linda Door (L) protests against President Obama's health care plan in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on March 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court, which has set aside six hours over three days, will hear arguments over the constitutionality President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act celebrate after the Supreme Court up held the law in the 6-3 vote at the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide availability of tax subsidies that are crucial to the implementation of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a major victory to the president.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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