INDIANAPOLIS | U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, the Republican candidate for Indiana governor, repeatedly apologized Thursday after likening the U.S. Supreme Court's health care ruling to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed 2,996 people.
"My remarks following the Supreme Court's decision were thoughtless," Pence said. "I never intended to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced, and I apologize."
The 9/11 comparison came while the six-term congressman was speaking to other Republican members of the U.S. House in a closed-door meeting shortly after the high court's decision was issued.
"I certainly did not intend to make any such comparison," Pence said. "To the extent that people interpreted my remarks that way, I apologize."
John Gregg, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said equating a health care policy dispute with 9/11 "goes far beyond the bounds of common decency."
"To compare our legislative and judicial process to a terrorist attack is deeply disturbing and wrong," Gregg said. "Congressman Pence showed us all that he is not ready to lead Indiana."