updated 9/29/2009 7:27:33 PM ET 2009-09-29T23:27:33

A Republican congressman who called President Barack Obama an "enemy of humanity" said Tuesday through a spokeswoman that he should have made clear that he was referring to the president's policies related to abortion.

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Trent Franks of Arizona said in a speech to conservatives Saturday in St. Louis that given Obama's decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, "we shouldn't be shocked that he does all these other insane things."

"A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity," Franks said to the "How to Take Back America" conference.

Franks said in a statement Tuesday that he was referring to "unborn humanity" and should have clarified his remarks. His statement listed a series of actions Obama has taken related to abortion.

"While I absolutely should have made the meaning of my statement more clear, the facts remain that these radical pro-abortion policies do not have place in a government founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and chief among those rights is the right to life," Franks said in the statement.

A White House spokesman had no comment.

'Lack of respect'
A video recording of Franks' speech was provided by the liberal interest group People for the American Way.

Franks' remarks "show a stunning lack of respect for our president and the office of the presidency," said Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way.

The conference was organized by conservative interest groups, including the Eagle Forum and Faith2Action.

Before his election to Congress seven years ago, Franks, 52, founded the Arizona Family Research Institute, a think tank associated with James Dobson's Focus on the Family organization. Abortion has been his signature issue. He favors rolling back the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, which he likens to genocide.

Franks has been a consultant to conservative commentator Pat Buchanan's presidential campaign, and served two years in the Arizona State House of Representatives. He was appointed by former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham to a state government post overseeing children's programs.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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