COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is apologizing for threatening to punch a Colorado reporter who asked him about problems with the government's wild horse program at a campaign event.

Salazar on Wednesday called Dave Philipps, a reporter with The Gazette of Colorado Springs, to apologize and offer him an interview. The apology came a day after the newspaper (http://bit.ly/ZLfB5r) posted an audio recording of Salazar's Election Day comments.

In the audio, Salazar is heard accusing Philipps of setting him up by asking about a Colorado horse slaughter proponent who has bought hundreds of wild horses.

Salazar tells the reporter: "If you do that to me again, I'll punch you out."

Salazar at first simply said Wednesday that he regretted the exchange. But the newspaper called on him to apologize.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com