MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has apologized to first lady Michelle Obama for reportedly saying she has a “big butt.”

Sensenbrenner’s press secretary says the Republican sent the first lady a personal note and released a statement Thursday saying he regrets his “inappropriate comment.”

Sensenbrenner’s office would not release the note.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Sensenbrenner referred to Michelle Obama’s “big butt” while talking to church members at a Christmas bazaar at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Hartford earlier this month.

Church member Ann Marsh-Meigs told the newspaper that she heard Sensenbrenner’s remarks. She said the 16-term congressman was speaking about the first lady’s efforts to combat childhood obesity, and added, “And look at her big butt.”

Michelle Obama’s press office didn’t immediately return a request for comment Thursday.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.