WASHINGTON - JULY 27: Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) speaks at The Humane Society of the United States rally to promote animal protection legislation at Capitol Hill July 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., is taking heat for a controversial comment he made about the midterm elections.
On Tuesday, Moran told Arab television network Alhurra that his party's November election losses were partly due to voter antagonism toward a black president. His comments came right after President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address.
Referring to widespread Republican wins in congressional and state contests, Moran said, "A lot of people in this country, I believe, don't want to be governed by an African-American." He said that was particularly true of a liberal president.
As some groups criticized the remarks, Moran's spokeswoman Anne Hughes issued a statement defending him, saying it's no secret the U.S. "continues to struggle with racial equality." She said Moran thinks it's better to discuss than to ignore such issues.