PORTLAND, Ore. -- Bud Pierce, the Republican candidate for Governor in Oregon, says he’s recently been schooled about domestic violence and sexual abuse.

“I was horribly uneducated on domestic violence before this event,” he said Thursday at his campaign office in Salem.

The candidate is still apologizing for an answer during a debate last Friday at the City Club of Portland.

Pierce, a cancer doctor, said he thought education and economic status made women not susceptible to domestic violence.


So why did he say it?

"I’m reaching in the middle of the debate for what I know. And basically what I know now is I didn’t know anything,” he said.

Pierce has endured scathing criticism for his remark, but said he's also had helpful people educate him on the real issues of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence and domestic abuse is due to the attitude on the part of the abuser, that violence and abuse is acceptable. So the problem is the abuser. It has nothing to do with the victim. It doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter what you are which I know—but somehow I got going in that direction which was crazy,” he said.

Pierce said he came of age in the 1960s when much of the focus of women's equality was on income.

Since then he's not been to any seminars on the issue or dealt with it in his family.

So why not give a generic answer?

Pierce said it’s because he's a citizen, not a politician, and hates when politicians dodge the question.

“I can’t do that. I can’t do that. I gotta try to answer the question. And when you do that you run the risk you don’t know what you are talking about. And the world is gonna see you don’t know what you’re talking about.”