Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin apologized Sunday after intense backlash over his remarks that children were exposed to sexual abuse due to the teachers’ strike last week.
Bevin told reporters Friday that he guaranteed “somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them”.
The Republican issued his apology in a nearly four-minute video posted online, saying “it is not my intent to hurt anybody in this process, but to help us all move forward together.”
On Friday, Bevin’s explosive comments were part of his statement criticizing teachers for leaving work to protest at the Capitol. More than 30 school districts closed Friday. Bevin’s comments came shortly after Republican lawmakers voted to override his vetoes of an operating budget that included increased spending for public education with the help of an accompanying tax increase.
During his apology, Bevin backtracked slightly saying that his comments were misunderstood and people “did not fully appreciate” his Friday remarks.
“It’s my responsibility to represent you, not only when I’m speaking to you, but when I’m speaking on your behalf in ways that are clear, that are understood, that don’t hurt people and don’t confuse people,” he said.
“And so the extent that I do that well, great. And to the times when I don’t do it well, that’s on me. I’m sorry for those of you, every single one of you, that has been hurt by things that I’ve said.”