Go Gary Landrieu 080719

Gary Landrieu signed up Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, to run for governor without party affiliation.

Little known candidate for Louisiana governor Gary Landrieu told the USA Today Network Friday that he meant to use the n-word in a radio interview earlier in the day and that he's not a racist.

"I'm not a racist and I don't use the word often," Landrieu told the USA Today reporter. "No, I don't regret it because it was designed to be a tool for people to understand my experience as a child and the racism I experienced as a child."

Landrieu, an Independent who is the cousin of former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, used the n-word in response to a caller who called him a "piece of shit."

“Let me tell you, when I was a kid we learned about protecting ourselves and defending ourselves because we were called a lot of ugly names as children,” Landrieu said during an episode of “The Right Chicks” on New Orleans’ WGSO 990 show this week. "As an eight-year-old, they called me, ‘Oh, there’s the n*****-lovers right there."

Read the full USA Today Network story here.