Hey man, if the shoe fits. . .

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville withdrew a statement he made Friday morning on the House floor about other members of Congress being socialists, but he said later he did not regret his remarks and thought Democrats who objected to the label were being “thin-skinned.”

Brooks, a Republican in his first term, was at the microphone opposing an alternative 2012 federal budget from the Congressional Progressive Caucus when he made the statement that drew the objection.

“Folks, we are here today forcing this issue because America is at risk. We are at risk of insolvency and bankruptcy because the socialist members of this body choose to spend money that we do not have,” Brooks said.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., interrupted and asked that Brooks’ remarks be “taken down,” a rare disciplinary action in which the clerk reports what was said and the person presiding over the House session determines whether the remarks were inappropriate.

Brooks, who was ordered to take a seat, said he was given two choices at that moment — either ask to have the offending comment stricken from the record, or defend his remarks and wait until later in the day for a formal ruling. He said he chose to withdraw the use of the word “socialist” so he could continue his speech.

Ellison accepted the withdrawal, and Brooks moved on.

House rules on decorum specify that members should not impugn the motives of other members, use offensive language or make comments that are otherwise deemed unparliamentary, according to the GOP majority.

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