Though senators make $174,000 a year, a Republican Senate candidate and businessman isn't too impressed with their salaries.
Asked by MSNBC's Kasie Hunt during an interview in Des Moines, Iowa, over the weekend if he'd give up his Senate salary because of his personal fortune, Mark Jacobs answered: "Well I don't think U.S. senators make that much money."
"I'm willing to make a significant investment of my time and energy here to help solve the problems we have in this country," he added.
Jacobs has the distinction of setting a record in Iowa as the biggest self-funder in the state's history.
"He's never really looked into how much U.S. senators make," Steve Grubbs, a Jacobs campaign adviser, told MSNBC in a statement.
Jacobs is one of the perceived front-runners in a multicandidate race for the June 3 Republican nomination. The winner will face Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) in the general election.
The median household income in Iowa is $49,427, so Jacobs' primary opponents could seize on his comments as a way to paint him as out of touch with the average voter.
In December, Jacobs explained that candidates "have to connect with women on an emotional level" in explaining what he thinks the "biggest difference between men and women" is when engaging them as voters.
UPDATE: 11:25 a.m. -- Jacobs released the following statement:
"I misspoke in hearing the question for the first time and want to make clear I didn't enter into this Senate race because of the salary. I'm running for public office because I want to serve the families of Iowa and know that I have done something for them, our great state and our country. I've said that I've always believed someone should be paid for the work they do, so what troubles me the most is that Congress continues to receive their paychecks year in and year out even though they fail to pass a budget. This shouldn't happen and when I'm in the Senate I'd work to make sure no one receives a paycheck if they can't pass a yearly budget."
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