ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he made a mistake in using the phrase “colored people” during a speech last month, but he is standing by the gist of his statement.

WAGA-TV ( reports that Deal was arguing in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment Oct. 3 when he said: “If you want to advance the state of colored people, start with their children.” The governor was speaking before educators at the Technical College System of Georgia.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal leaves after a press conference, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Atlanta.  Deal, a Republican, turned back a challenge from Democrat Jason Carter, a state senator and the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, in Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal leaves after a press conference. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Deal says he was “upset” about people who are opposed to the amendment and says he “misspoke.” He says he was referring to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which has spoken out against the proposal.

Deal says the amendment would help poor, minority children graduate and get jobs.


Information from: WAGA-TV,