U.S. Senate hopeful Ken Buck said Sunday that he believes being gay is a choice, like alcoholism.

The Colorado Republican is in a tight race against incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet. The candidates appeared on NBC's Meet the Press.

When moderator David Gregory asked Buck if he believes being gay is a lifestyle choice, he answered, “I do.”

“You can choose who your partner is,” Buck said. “I think that birth has an influence, like alcoholism and some other things … But I think that, basically, you have a choice.”

On the program, Bennet said Buck's views on being gay are “outside the mainstream,” and after the program the Bennet campaign immediately blasted out a video of Buck's comments with the tagline, “Buck compares being gay to alcoholism.”

According to the TheHill.com, Buck attempted to clarify his remarks while speaking with reporters after the debate.

“I said I thought there was some element of predisposition and I thought there was some element of choice. I'm not a biologist and I haven't studied the issue but that's my feeling on the issue.”

“I was talking about predisposition,” Buck added. “I wasn't talking about being gay as a disease. I don't think that at all. What I meant was that I think there are a variety of factors.”

Buck's remarks come on the heels of President Barack Obama saying that the doesn't believe being gay is a choice at a Thursday town hall meeting broadcast on cabler MTV.