Raleigh, N.C. — Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, is apologizing for videotaped remarks in which he was critical of House Speaker Thom Tillis.
"While we do still have some disagreements about process, I have done damage to his reputation in a manner which I did not consider at the time," Pittman writes in a letter sent to reporters Wednesday. "I regret that this has damaged our friendship, and I ask for his forgiveness, not for the disagreement, but for the manner in which I handled it."
Pittman spoke to a conservative group called "We the People" on April 27. A supporter taped his remarks and put them online. During his 20-minute speech, Pittman blasted Tillis for watering down voter ID legislation and firearms bills.
"I'm potentially getting myself in real trouble telling you this stuff," Pittman says in the video. "Then, none of my bills will go anywhere, but they're not going anywhere anyway."
Pittman talked specifically about a measure that would have declared that North Carolina could ignore federal rules prohibiting sectarian prayer in government meetings. He says in the video that Tillis pressured Rep. Carl Ford, R-Rowan to withdraw the measure.
"This was based on statements Rep. Ford had made to me," Pittman writes in his apology. "However, when he told me about this, he did not say that the pressure actually came from the Speaker of the House. That was an assumption of mine, based on the context."