John Kennedy (copy)

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., responds to a reporter's question on Oct. 3, 2018 

Known for his colorful tropes, U.S. Sen. John N. Kennedy apologized for going too far, Politico reported.

The Madisonville Republican said during a committee hearing Thursday that he was sorry for calling 

President Joe Biden's Interior Department nominee, Deb Haaland, “a neo-socialist, left-of-Lenin whack job.”

"I apologize. I was searching for a word for extremist, which I think is more neutral," Kennedy said, according to Politico. "And I should have said extremist. I never should have said whack job."

He offered the apology after an interview on an another subject but said he had “felt bad about that all day” on Wednesday after tagging Haaland with the barb.

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“Sen. Kennedy has apologized for referring to President Biden’s nominee for Interior Secretary as a ‘whack job,’" Kennedy's spokeswoman Jess Andrews said. He "has said that he misspoke, regrets it, and apologizes.”

CLARIFICATION: The Politico article was updated to reflect that Kennedy misspoke in the interview about the Biden nominee he criticized.