Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday that his comments about the “culture” of inner cities were “inarticulate.”

“After reading the transcript of yesterday morning’s interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make,” he said in a statement about his remarks to radio host Bill Bennett earlier this week. “I was not implicating the culture of one community—but of society as a whole. We have allowed our society to isolate or quarantine the poor rather than integrate people into our communities.”

Ryan, R-Wisc., came under fire for telling Bennett that there is “a tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.”

The House budget chief and former vice presidential candidate said those environments have “a real culture problem.”

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