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He implied he was quoting the Gospel

He is no stranger to controversial remarks

Washington CNN  — 

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is standing behind terms he used at a recent campaign event that are widely seen as racially insensitive toward Native Americans and Asians.

Moore, who was the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, implied in a tweet on Monday he was quoting the Gospel the day before when he used the words “reds and yellows.”

On Monday, Moore tweeted: “Red, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. This is the Gospel.”

He continued: “If we take it seriously, America can once again be united as one nation under God.”

The reference to “red and yellow, black and white” doesn’t appear in the Bible but is in a well known Sunday School hymn, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” His campaign did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

But the terms were criticized on Twitter for their racial connotations and Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, tweeted: “Mr. Moore, red & yellow are 2 of the colors in the @Crayola 8 crayons box. Charlotte has an extra box I would be happy to send you,” a reference to her young daughter.

At a campaign event on Sunday, Moore was talking about the current state of politics in the US when he used the terms.

“We were torn apart in the Civil War – brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?” Moore asked at the event, according to a video provided to The Hill.

He continued: “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”

Moore is running against fellow Republican and incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a runoff primary race set for September 26. The race is particularly notable because President Donald Trump backs Strange, while his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, backs Moore.

Moore has a history of making controversial remarks. CNN’s KFile reported Tuesday he said in a speech last month that Americans have asked for “shootings and killings” by removing the “acknowledgment of God” from society. He made the comments to the group Citizen Impact USA on August 24 at an event on defending religious liberties.

He also suggested earlier this year that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks might have happened because the US had distanced itself from God.

CNN’s Daniel Burke contributed to this report.