New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has apologized for a remark about civil rights but says he’s not sorry for using a slang term to describe a lawmaker who compared him to segregationist Southern governors.

The Republican spoke Tuesday night during TownSquare Media’s “Ask the Governor” program on radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM.

He apologized to anyone offended by his comment that people in the civil rights struggle would have been happier to have the matter settled by public vote rather than by dying in the streets. He was comparing civil rights to the fight for gay marriage.

But he didn’t back down from calling Democratic Assemblyman Reed Gusciora “numb nuts” after the lawmaker compared him to former Govs. George Wallace and Lester Maddox.

Christie says his late mother used the term.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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