Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) expressed concern in an interview published Thursday about how insensitive comments he made during the 2013 government shutdown would affect his re-election bid.
Terry was asked by the Omaha World-Herald's Joseph Morton in October whether he would keep accepting his paycheck while the government shutdown was in effect. "Dang straight," was how Terry responded at the time.
"I've got a nice house and a kid in college, and I'll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That's just not going to fly," he added.
Nebraska Watchdog's Joe Jordan asked Terry about the incident on Thursday, and Terry replied, "Thank you for reminding me of that horrible moment in my life."
"I was just really pissed off when I walked off the House and then there was Joe Morton hammering me with that question that I had no clue he was going to ask. And it's just like, what I'm sitting here working, I haven't been home in three weeks, and you're asking me that question," he continued.
"And I, it was a bad time, bad atmosphere, and that is one of the few moments in life I wish I had over again," Terry added.
Terry then gave an honest response when Jordan asked if he feared voters would hold his comments against him.
"I hope not. I do worry, but I hope not," Terry said.
"I hope they'll focus on the things that I've been able to accomplish," he added.
Terry spoke out against a pay cut for members of Congress in August.
Terry is in a tough re-election race and will face Nebraska state Sen. Brad Ashford (D) in November.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect Terry spoke out against a pay cut and did not defend a salary increase.
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