WASHINGTON (CNN) — Rep. Alcee Hastings wants his colleagues from Texas to make like Elsa, the protagonist in the hit kids’ movie “Frozen” and, “Let it go.”
That’s the advice he gave them in an interview with CNN, in response to outrage from the Texas delegation over his comments this week that Texas is “a crazy state.”
“I love Texans, but I do not like their policy makers who are in the majority,” he said. “The simple fact of the matter is, evidently, I touched a nerve deep in the heart of Texas. And I would ask them to tie a yellow rose around it and do like ‘Frozen’ and ‘Let it go.'”
On Tuesday, all 25 Republicans in the Texas delegation demanded Hastings apologize for the comments, which he made during a Monday House Rules Committee debate over a bill repealing Obamacare.
Commenting on Texas’ decision not to participate in the state health care exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, Hastings said, “I don’t know about in your state, which I think is a crazy state to begin with, and I mean that just as I said it.”
Rep. Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, interjected, decrying the comment as “a very defamatory statement about my state.”
“And I will not stand here and listen to it,” he said.
Hastings went on to dismiss Burgess, but took a knock at his own state, acknowledging “what my state did, which is, in many respects, coming close to being just as crazy — and that is they did not expand Medicaid.”
In an interview with CNN, the Florida Democrat outlined other Texas laws that he said were “crazy,” including one stating “that you can’t shoot bears out of the second floor of a window,” a law allowing citizens to carry guns in bars and also, “one of their cities has a law that says that women can only have six dildos, and the certain size of things.”
“And if that ain’t crazy I don’t know what is,” Hastings added.
The Florida Democrat insisted he bears no ill will to the citizens of either state. Rather, Hastings said, he takes issues with their policymakers.
If he offended those people, he said, “It’s deliberate.”
And while he wasn’t “disparaging” Burgess, “What I said to him I meant.”
“And that is that I thought that those kinds of policies were plain crazy, and he would have to wait until hell freezes over if he thought I owed him a personal apology,” Hastings said. “I do not, and I will not.”
The Texas delegation made it clear Hastings isn’t welcome there. And Hastings has likely sparked some anger at home. But he didn’t seem to mind. On Thursday, Hastings said when he retires, which he hinted would come after one more re-election bid, he’s “not so sure I’m going to stay [in Florida], largely because of the policymakers.”
“I have a lot of other places that I can live,” he said.