Cuccinelli, who, on Tuesday morning, suggested the poem should actually state, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” made the comments during a confrontational interview with CNN host Erin Burnett.

After Burnett questioned Cuccinelli about his revisions to the poem, which actually states, “Give me your tired, your poor,. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” the official responded: “That poem was referring back to people coming from Europe where they had class-based societies — where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class.”

“It was introduced one year after the first federal public charge rule was written that says — I’ll quote it, ‘Any person unable to take care of himself without becoming a public charge,’ unquote, would be inadmissible.” he added. “In the terms that my agency deals with, they can’t do what’s called adjusting status, getting a green card, becoming legal permanent residence.”