Trump: I look orange, but so do you because of energy-efficient light bulbs

"The light is the worst," Trump said. His administration earlier this month announced it would roll back regulations for increased energy efficiency.

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By Phil Helsel

On a night that featured the Democratic debate, President Donald Trump said he's being cast in a harsh light.

Trump's complaint wasn't about the candidates vying for the nomination and the chance to make the 45th president a one-termer, but was rather was directed at light bulbs.

"People said what's with the light bulb? I said here’s the story, and I looked at it: The bulb that we're being forced to use — No. 1, to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange," Trump said during a speech at a House Republican retreat dinner.

The audience at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner laughed at the comment.

It's not the first time the president has been described as orange. The hue of his hair and skin are often a source of jokes among his critics.

He said he's not the only one that the bulbs affect: He told the crowd that they, too, take on an orange tone under the lights.

The Trump administration last week said it would roll back requirements for energy-efficient light bulbs under two previous administrations.

Under one action, the Department of Energy plans to repeal a regulation enacted under President Obama requiring an expanded number of light bulbs in the U.S. to be in compliance with stricter energy efficiency standards; and nixed new energy efficiency standards for all pear-shaped light bulbs that were also scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

The first regulation being targeted was spun off of a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush that aimed to gradually phase out energy inefficient bulbs like incandescent and halogen bulbs.

"The light is the worst," Trump said at the retreat dinner. He also said that "it's many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well."

"And the light is not as good," the president said, adding that "we're going to sell that, but we’re also going to sell incandescent bulbs."

Environmental groups argue that ending the regulations will result in higher utility bills for Americans and the production of more electricity by greenhouse-gas emitting power plants.

Trump at Thursday's annual retreat also took aim at several Democratic presidential candidates.

Phil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.