SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox apologized on Twitter this morning after he called members of the U.S. Congress ‘imbeciles‘ over American immigration policy during a monthly press conference Thursday.

“But states have to step in because these imbeciles in Congress can’t get their crap together to do something that everybody knows needs to be done, and that is to protect the border and to fix legal immigration,” said Cox Thursday. “…All they want to do is get reelected by pointing fingers at each other and they divide us. They do it on purpose and it’s embarrassing.”

In a pair of tweets, Cox apologized but said he does stand by part of his statement.

“Just want to apologize for using a derogatory term yesterday to describe members of Congress over the past 40 years for failing to fix the border and immigration crisis,” tweeted Cox. “As someone who tries to hold myself to a higher standard of dignity and civility, I should be better.”

Cox, however, defended the last part of his statement about finger-pointing, dividing the populace, and doing so on purpose to get reelected.

“Congress has abdicated their responsibility around immigration for the last 40 years,” said Cox on Thursday. “They punted every time.”

The press conference comments came in response to questions asked about Florida Gov. Ron Desantis’ new immigration law. While Cox admitted that he wasn’t completely up-to-date on the specifics of Florida’s law, he noted immigration is a federal issue.

Cox said fixing America’s illegal immigration problems starts with reforming legal immigration.

“We do need more immigrants in our country,” said Cox Thursday. “We have so many job openings right now in the state of Utah and other places that can’t be filled. It’s actually hurting our economy that we can’t have good people who want to live here come in here. In fact, when you have a broken immigration system, it ends up pushing people to go through the back door instead of the front door and to go through the wrong ways instead of the right ways.”