Speaking at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, the chairman of the House’s conservative Republican Study Committee referred to the women on his committee as “eye candy.”

Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) made his remark in broad daylight, just two minutes into his “3 Promises, 3 Months” speech, with fellow committee members, including Reps. Diane Black and Mia Love, standing there behind him.

“If it wasn’t sexist, I would say the RSC [women were] eye candy, but we’ll leave that out of the record,” Walker said.

Interestingly, Rep. Walker felt compelled to make his controversial remark while he was laying out the caucus’ upcoming agenda on tax reform and healthcare.

Two hours later, the former Baptist pastor and second-term congressman tried to take it back with a hurriedly issued statement to CNN: “During a press event today, I made a flippant remark meant to be light hearted but fell short. I’m proud of the women who serve in our RSC leadership,” Walker said.

Since its founding in 1973, the Republican Study Committee, according to its website, has been working tirelessly to promote a conservative legislative agenda aimed at limiting government, preserving traditional values and balancing the budget.

Only 16 of the committee’s 160 members are women. Looks like this Republican caucus has managed to preserve at least one of those so-called traditional values within its own ranks.

– Danielle Bizzarro

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