ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd apologized after posting a tweet that occasioned a brutal backlash over what many saw as a sexist attack on a female Republican member of Congress.
The tweet was aimed at Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and was later deleted, but it continued to be circulated on social media.
"Elise Stefanik is a perfect example why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn't necessarily get you the leaders we need," he tweeted.
Dowd was criticizing Stefanik for her role in the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.
The insult to Stefanik was taken by many to be a sexist attack, while others contrasted it with Dowd's glowing approval of socialist Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.).
Dowd addressed the controversy after deleting the tweet.
"I think people are misunderstand my tweet. So I will delete. I am saying just saying we need more millennials or more women isn't going to solve the problem of needing more leaders with integrity. Vote integrity no matter what," he said.
"Hey @EliseStefanik I just want to apologize for a tweet that is being misinterpreted," Dowd said in a second tweet.
"I didn't mean to suggest you were elected only because you were a woman or a millennial," he added. "I deleted the tweet."
Stefanik accepted the apology, saying, "Apology accepted @matthewjdowd - @ABCPolitics should be ashamed of your comment. This is one of the reasons young women don't run for office."
Dowd was excoriated with similar accusations over a tweet in October against former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. He also deleted that tweet.
Here's video of Stefanik in the impeachment hearing:
Stefanik Demands Transparency from Adam Schiff in Partisan Impeachment Inquiry Hearing www.youtube.com