Utah Gov. Spencer Cox apologized a day after he called members of Congress “imbeciles” who “can’t get their crap together” to pass immigration reform.
“Just want to apologize for using a derogatory term yesterday to describe members of congress over the past 40 years for failing to fix the border and immigration crisis. As someone who tries to hold myself to a higher standard of dignity and civility, I should be better,” the governor tweeted Friday.
Cox’s comments came during his monthly PBS press conference on Thursday, in response to Telemundo reporter Angel Galavis’ question about Florida’s new hardline immigration policies that, among other things, bar undocumented people from driving in the state even if they have a driver’s license, and allows law enforcement to charge someone with human trafficking if they transport an undocumented person across state lines.
The governor @SpencerJCox apologizes after he calls Congress ‘imbeciles’ when I asked a question about immigration policies.— J. Ángel Galavis (@galavisnews) May 19, 2023
Here is part of the edited video. https://t.co/AZdSUXBvax pic.twitter.com/kokEMVS2rZ
Cox said he’s “not as familiar with the exact changes you’re referring to” but “we absolutely have to do more to secure the border, first and foremost, that is critical. We live in an ordered society, a society of laws and that piece matters.”
He went on to say: “States should not be trying to fix this. The Constitution is very clear that immigration is a federal issue. But states have to step in because these imbeciles in Congress can’t get their crap together to do something that everybody knows needs to be done. And that is to protect the border, and to fix legal immigration. And all they want to do is get reelected by pointing fingers at each other, and they divide us, and they do it on purpose, and it’s embarrassing, and they should all get fired.”
Just want to apologize for using a derogatory term yesterday to describe members of congress over the past 40 years for failing to fix the border and immigration crisis. As someone who tries to hold myself to a higher standard of dignity and civility, I should be better.— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) May 19, 2023
While Cox apologized for the name calling, he didn’t walk back the underlying sentiment of the impassioned moment — that Congress “has abdicated their responsibility around immigration for the last 40 years,” treat the issue as a political football, intentionally stoke division for political points, and are embarrassing.
“But I stand by this part,” he said on Twitter.