Texas Republican state Rep. Larry Taylor apologized after telling insurance companies to pay policy holders in a timely manner and to not 'Jew them down'
A Texas Republican lawmaker stunned a hearing on Thursday when he urged an insurance association to help policy holders and not 'Jew them down.
State Rep. Larry Taylor, speaking at a hearing on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, was referring to the timely payment of claims to policy holders.
He said: 'Don't nitpick, don't try to Jew them down.
As the room fell silent, Mr Taylor quickly moved to try to limit the damage, admitting: 'That's probably a bad term.
Mr Taylor apologized in a written statement after the hearing.
He said: 'At a legislative oversight committee hearing today, I inadvertently used a phrase that many people find offensive.
'I corrected myself immediately when I realized what I had said. I regret my poor choice of words and sincerely apologize for any harm they may have caused.
The Austin Statesman reports that Taylor is the favourite to win a Texas state senate race in the 2012 election cycle.
Democrats criticized Taylor shortly after his remark, questioning his rhetoric and suitability for high office.
Democratic state Rep. Lon Burnam: 'If Larry were a state employee, he probably would have been fired today.
'Instead, Larry is asking Texas voters to give him a promotion to the Texas Senate.
Mr Burnam also went on to condemn the Republican Party for tolerating the use of offensive language.
Alex Winslow, the executive director of Texas Watch, an advocacy organization for insurance customers, was stunned when he heard Mr Taylor's remark.
He said: 'I agree with the sentiment that TWIA needs to pay claims on time and in full, but certainly don’t agree with his characterization or use of that offensive phrase.
According to the Texas Tribune, Winslow was in the overflow room at the hearing when the statement was made and said no one on the committee addressed the comment.