The Republican Rep. from Wisconsin who grabbed headlines after he was overheard talking about Michelle Obama’s butt has now issued an apology for the remarks.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner sent the First Lady a personal note saying he was sorry for referring to her backside as a “large posterior” and “big butt,” according to his spokesperson. Politico reports the initial comments were overheard at a D.C.-area airport:
Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) was overheard talking about the first lady’s healthy food initiative — and her “large posterior” — on Wednesday in the Delta Crown lounge at Reagan National Airport, FishbowlDC reported. The representative was recounting a recent conversation he’d had at a Wisconsin Episcopal church and said loudly on the phone that Obama “lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself,” according to Fishbowl.
Sensenbrenner had made his initial comment about the first lady at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Hartford, Wis. on Dec. 10. Ann Marsh-Meigs, a 72-year-old member of the church, said the congressman sat with her and several other parishioners for some small talk during the church’s Christmas bazaar.
“And then he got on the topic of first ladies and their special interests, and he said most first ladies have serious projects,” Marsh-Meigs said in an interview. “He implied that Michelle Obama being interested in childhood obesity was not serious, he sort of made fun of it and then he made fun of her. He said something like, look at her big butt.”
“I regret my inappropriate comment and I have sent a personal note to the first lady apologizing,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement.
Still, the story doesn’t really end there. FishbowlDC reports the reason the story broke is because a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist caught wind of the comments and called Sensenbrenner’s office for comment. An aide to the Rep. then called Sensenbrenner who was at the airport. It was that conversation between Sensenbrenner and the aide that someone at the airport overheard.
And this is where it gets even more uncomfortable for Sensenbrenner — apparently during the airport conversation he told his aide that he “stands by” his remarks. Here’s how FishbowlDC reports it:
Indeed as fate would have it, on Wednesday as Sensenbrenner sat on his duff in the Delta Crown lounge at Reagan National Airport, he aired out Bice’s story on his cell phone with one of his aides. The congressman and his aide were deciphering what to say to Bice. Some may recall how that all went down: “The operative said it sounded like he was on the phone with a staffer who was telling him that someone in the media would likely write about his comments (concerning something) to which he said it was heresy and just liberal media bias to print gossip. But ‘he stands by his remarks.’”
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean he stands by the remarks about Michelle’s backside. Rather, it could mean he stands by his remarks about her food policies.
Either way, not everyone is happy with the apology.
“It’s weak,” Micki Hoffmann, a 65-year-old retired teacher who attends St. Aidan’s, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“What made us angry were his remarks about her body image – not her policies or positions – but her person.”
This story has been updated with additional information.