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Kentucky governor apologizes for comments he previously made about teacher protests in his state

Gov. Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) apologized via a video message for comments he made about teacher protests in his state. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, issued an apology Sunday after he suggested children left home alone during teacher protests could have been exposed to sexual assault or accidental poisoning.

“I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said,” Bevin said in a video statement. “That was not my intent whatsoever.”

Bevin made the apology one day after the state’s Republican-led House of Representatives resolutions that strongly rebuked his comments.

Bevin's intial comments were made in the spirit of concern, he said.

Initially, Bevin said: “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them," Bevin said Friday. "I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn't have enough money to take care of them."

What else did he say?

Bevin followed up his apology by saying people misunderstood the intent of his comments.

“Clearly a tremendous number of people did not fully appreciate what it was that I was communicating or what it was that I was trying to say,” he said.

Bevin blamed himself for being unclear.

He added that he has several family members who are public school teachers and their concerns are "near and dear” to him.

“I grew up surrounded by an appreciation that this is not an easy task,” Bevin said about the teaching profession.

Last week thousands of teachers left their schools to ask state lawmakers to overturn Bevin’s veto of a $480 million tax increase and two-year spending plan. His vetoes were overridden by the Republican-majority House, The Hill reported. Published reports also stated that Bevin had complained to reporters that teachers were smoking and tossing trash on the capitol grounds.

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