BY Julie Bolcer

October 15 2009 11:45 AM ET

U.S. congressman Jeff Flake, who said that his
motivation for vacationing alone in the Marshall Islands was to feel less like a "pansy," has
apologized for his choice of language.

Flake, an Arizona Republican, talked with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday about why he decided to spend a week by himself in deserted conditions.

"I did it mostly for physical exertion," Flake told Blitzer. "I love Teddy Roosevelt's speech he gave on the strenuous life." Flake said that ever since he left his childhood ranch, "I've felt like a pansy, I guess, and this made it feel like I was actually doing something again."

Flake’s spokesman, Matt Specht, e-mailed Ben Smith at Politico.com to clarify the statement.

"Congressman Flake didn’t realize that that word can have a negative connotation,” Specht wrote to Smith. “He simply meant 'wimpy.' He apologizes if anyone took offense to it."



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