After apologizing for saying he believes AIDS is a punishment from God for being gay, Iowa GOP candidate Jeremy Walters backpedals a bit to say he's not sure.

Walters is hoping to unseat incumbent state Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Democrat from Des Moines, in the fall.

The Republican apologized for comments he made on his Facebook wall after a stiff rebuke from One Iowa, the state's largest gay rights advocate, which called the comments “offensive,” and state GOP leaders, who first repudiated his comments and later rescinded an invitation for Walters to volunteer at the GOP Iowa State Fair booth.

“homosexual 'GAY' is not of God!!!!” Walters wrote.

“The Holy Bible says if your 'GAY' homosexual they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. This tells me a lot so should we kill them NO. They Need to ask God to forgive them of their sins and mean it turn away from it. They also need to know that when it says that their blood shall be upon them that tells me it is AIDS. That how I feel.”

Walters initially defended his statements: “It's offensive to them because they know it's the truth. Truth does hurt.”

In an email to the Iowa Independent after the GOP rebuke, Walters appeared to have a change of heart, saying he's “not against people having a gay lifestyle” and “the statements made on Facebook have been taken the wrong way.”

“The statement regarding gay homosexuality was not meant to be offensive and I deeply apologize,” he added.

But in a brief interview published Wednesday on Think Progress, Walters said he's still uncertain about AIDS.

“[D]o you still believe that AIDS is the result of the sin of homosexuality?” Igor Volsky asked.

“Well, I don't want to say that I don't,” Walters, who has since taken down his comments, answered. “I just, like I said, had an experience of friends dying.”

Volsky offered a second chance at redemption, asking: “OK, so just to be clear, you are denouncing what you said? So you no longer believe that AIDS is God's way of getting back at the sin of homosexuality?”

“Well, you know, I want to say I've been seeing a lot of people that are in that lifestyle become with HIV and AIDS, but like I said, you can also get it through dirty needles and things so. … I would have to say that I removed it because it was not right to post it on there and I shouldn't be picking on their lives, because they're not picking on my life. I should be an understanding person and not a hater.”