Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he's just continuing past practices in calling the Christmas tree in the Statehouse a "holiday tree."
Chafee gave his answer to Fox News producer Jesse Watters, who went up to the governor in a hallway.
"Who exactly does a Christmas tree offend?" Watters asked Chafee, an independent.
Taken aback, he answered, "I'm continuing the past practice of previous governors that have instituted in calling this a holiday celebration."
"But don't you think you calling it a holiday tree offends more people than a Christmas tree?" Watters pressed.
"Well that's a debate that's been going on for many years. When I was in grade school we had to say the Lord's prayer. That no longer has occurred in public schools. This is a continuing debate of mixing of religion and government," Chafee said.
When Watters pointed out that Christmas is a federal holiday and asked whether Chafee would like to repeal that, the governor looked increasingly uncomfortable and started to stammer.
"No I -- ongoing debate about this subject and as I just said Lord's prayer in schools is one of those...so it's an ongoing debate," he said. Referencing the state's religious dissident founder, he added: "We're trying to uphold the values of Roger Williams and make sure that the purity of theology is kept free from the pollution of government."
Watters again, asking "But don't you think a holiday tree...what holiday is it governor?" as Chafee was hustled away.
Watch the clip, via Fox News: