Washington (CNN) - Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Saturday he was "mortified" to hear a top Obama administration official describe Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood as a "largely secular organization."
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made the remark in testimony before a House panel on Tuesday. His office later clarified the statement through a spokeswoman, saying that the Muslim Brotherhood was participating in Egypt's secular political system and that Clapper "is well aware that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secular organization."
In an interview with Townhall.com after his address to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Barbour said he was traveling in Israel when Clapper made the comment. But Barbour said he was "mortified" when it came to his attention.
"That's like saying I should be an ad for Weight Watchers," the portly governor joked. "That's absurd."
Barbour is seriously considering a 2012 presidential bid and just returned from a trip to Israel designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials.
Interesting. Hadn't heard DNI Clapper's remark (or retraction) about the Muslim Brotherhood. Having met, and worked for him, in the past I'd like to think he has more common sense than that. While certainly not AS radical as some Islamist organizations, the MB is certainly NOT secular (by ANY stretch of the imagination). They are firmly committed to the establishment of states ruled by Islamic law, but are more modern in their approach and outlook (in contrast to those groups who would have the world returned to the era of Mohammad). Regarless of whether they are "moderate" enough to participate in the coming Egyptian political process, let's not forget why they were founded.