U.S. Rep. Don Young issued a second statement apologizing for using the word “wetbacks” on the radio. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

After pressure from GOP, Rep. Young utters the words: “I apologize”

After an increasing barrage of criticism from Democrats and Republicans for using the term “wetback” to refer to farm laborers, Alaska Congressman Don Young sent out a second statement regretting his choice of words, but this time it included the word “apologize.”

“I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska,” said Young in a statement.  The 21-term Congressman was referring to the following statements he made yesterday on a radio show in Alaska. “My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes.”

RELATED: Alaska Congressman Don Young apologizes after saying father’s farm employed “wetbacks”

After initial criticism, the 79-year-old Congressman had issued a tepid apology, without ever using the word apologize.  “During a sit down interview with Ketchikan Public Radio this week, I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California,” said Young in a statement to the Alaska Dispatch. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect,” Young said.

But today Republicans and Democrats issued pretty strong condemnation of Young’s remarks. Republican National Committee chair Reince Preibus said“offensive language and ethnic slurs have no place in our public discourse,” and Jennifer Korn of the Hispanic Leadership Network said, “this kind of intolerance has no place in the conservative movement.”

Hours after these kinds of comments from both sides of the aisle, the Alaska Congressman issued his second apology, this time in stronger terms.

“There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century, and I’m sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform.”

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