(CNN)—Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is apologizing for invoking Hitler and Stalin on the Senate floor.
"I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants, like Hitler, to unions," he said in a statement released Friday. "I don't want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it."
The statement came a day after Brown said dictators Hitler and Stalin didn’t want unions while railing against legislative measures proposed in Ohio and Wisconsin that would limit collective bargaining rights for state workers.
“I am passionate about fighting for the middle class,” he said Friday. "Ohio's teachers and nurses and police and firefighters are facing the loss of their collective bargaining rights, and I think that's wrong. But in speaking about this, I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants, like Hitler, to unions. I don't want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it.”
State workers and supporters have traveled to the state capitols in both Madison, Wisconsin and Columbus, Ohio to protest the controversial measures that were introduced as cost-cutting methods to battle budget deficits in both states.