POLITICS
02/07/2011 08:30 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Alabama State Lawmaker Makes Controversial Remarks, Attempts To Do Damage Control

Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason, a Republican, reportedly made eyebrow-raising remarks over the weekend, calling on members of his party to "empty the clip and do what has to be done" in order to address illegal immigration, which he regarded as a problem.

According to the Cullman Times, Beason concluded a fiery speech on the issue with the extreme language at a Republican party breakfast. His comments come in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

Beason accused Democrats in his home state of intentionally neglecting to tackle the immigration issue. He alleged his colleagues on the other side of the aisle were motivated by a belief that "when more illegal immigrants move into an area, when their children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats."

Later in his speech, the Alabama Republican warned that failing to confront illegal immigration could "destroy" local communities in the state.

In a phone interview with the Gadsden Times on Monday, Beason said that his "empty the clip" reference was taken out of context. The Alabama-based outlet reports:

He said he had told his audience an Internet-circulated joke about how you can tell the political beliefs of a liberal, a conservative, and an armed Southerner who are confronted by a mugger in New York City.

According to Beason, what he said "makes perfect sense" if it's "all taken in context." He reportedly added, "Anyone sitting in the meeting completely understood it and I'm a little bit surprised that it left it hanging out there."