GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota issued an apology Wednesday after comparing Port Authority police to "mall cops." Lhota made the remark at Tuesday night's Nation Organization for Women debate.

"These cops get paid more than NYPD cops and, quite honestly, I know I'm going to get into trouble for this, they're nothing more than mall cops," Lhota told the audience. Less than 24 hours later and the former chairman of NYC's MTA has apologized for his remarks.

"I regret my unfortunate characterization of the Port Authority Police Department," Lhota said in a statement. "It was an inappropriate answer that does not accurately reflect the hard work of its officers. I apologize for my insensitive remarks and look forward to working collaboratively with them to find ways to better combat sex trafficking throughout the city."

Almost immediately after Lhota's comments were made public, many reacted with anger. A number of officials cited the 37 Port Authority police officers who lost their lives helping others during the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks when condemning Lhota's remarks.

Despite his apology, it seems like Lhota's remarks have angered enough people that it could end up hurting his chances in the 2013 mayoral race.

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