House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan says he'd like to get past name-calling and fight poverty in America.
In an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, Ryan said he recently talked to former Congressional Black Caucus leader Barbara Lee about controversial comments he made about men in inner cities.
Ryan said his original remarks were "inarticulate," but Lee, a California Democrat, called them a "thinly veiled racial attack." They spoke after Ryan's comments earlier this month in an interview with Bill Bennett sparked an uproar.
"She knows that I don't have a racist bone in my body," the Wisconsin Republican said in the Fox interview that aired Tuesday.
The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee said he'd like to "get beyond throwing baseless charges at people."
Ryan has proposed a sweeping overhaul of federal programs such as Head Start and Medicaid. He said the federal government should focus more on job training skills to get people out of poverty.
"We've got to focus on outcomes, not on inputs. Not on servicing poverty but on solving poverty," the congressman said. "And that to me is the mindset that's going to have to change. And when you question that status quo, it's going to upset some people."