Let’s look at how nonsensical this is. People take fewer hours because they have a job that requires a lot of time and makes it hard to go to class and do homework. Newt’s idea shows he has no idea what the actual issue is; his solution is the problem.
Juan Williams asked Newt Gingrich in tonight’s debate about his comments regarding Black Americans demanding paychecks and not food stamps, plus his statements about poor children working as janitors in their schools and firing unionized janitorial labor. Gingrich attempted to make his case by doubling-down on each idea.
This whole exchange was utterly offensive on Gingrich’s part and was compounded by the audience booing Williams for asking the question. Here’s the full back-and-forth - it really must be read to be believed:
WILLIAMS: Speaker Gingrich, you recently said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can’t you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?
GINGRICH: No. I don’t see that.
You know, my daughter, Jackie, who’s sitting back there, Jackie Cushman, reminded me that her first job was at First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Georgia, doing janitorial work at 13. And she liked earning the money. She liked learning that if you worked, you got paid. She liked being in charge of her own money, and she thought it was a good start.
I had a young man in New Hampshire who walked up to me. I’ve written two newsletters now about this topic. I’ve had over 50 people write me about the jobs they got at 11, 12, 13 years of age. Ran into a young man who started a doughnut company at 11. He’s now 16. He has several restaurants that take his doughnuts. His father is thrilled that he’s 16 because he can now deliver his own doughnuts.
What I tried to say — and I think it’s fascinating, because Joe Klein reminded me that this started with an article he wrote 20 years ago. New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union. You could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out. They would actually have money in their pocket. They’d learn to show up for work. They could do light janitorial duty. They could work in the cafeteria. They could work in the front office. They could work in the library. They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money.
WILLIAMS: The suggestion that he made was about a lack of work ethic. And I’ve got to tell you, my e-mail account, my Twitter account has been inundated with people of all races who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. You saw some of this reaction during your visit…
… to a black church in South Carolina. You saw some of this during your visit to a black church in South Carolina, where a woman asked you why you refer to President Obama as “the food stamp president.” It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle people.
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.
Now, I know among the politically correct, you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.
Second, you’re the one who earlier raised a key point. There’s — the area that ought to be I-73 was called by Barack Obama a corridor of shame because of unemployment. Has it improved in three years? No. They haven’t built the road. They haven’t helped the people. They haven’t done anything.
BRET BAIER: Finish your thought, Mr. Speaker.
GINGRICH: One last thing.
BAIER: Yes, sir.
GINGRICH: So here’s my point. I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.
For example, when asked a question about welfare 2 days before the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum replied “I don’t want to make Black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” The problem is that the question didn’t mention blacks at all, and statistically far more whites receive low-income assistance than blacks. But somehow the word “welfare” has become coded as referring to blacks.
In addition to the quote in the comic, Newt Gingrich called Obama “the most successful food stamp president in American history.” I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it sure sounds like someone tossing out red meat to the base.
UPDATE: Here’s some commentary from Jen Sorensen on her comic:
You’d think that decades in politics would knock the racist claptrap out of someone like Newt Gingrich, but, well, this is the GOP we’re talking about. Instead, he just substitutes polite-sounding phrases like “African-American community” and “demand paychecks” for “those lazy blacks.” How does one go about demanding a paycheck, anyway? I’d like to be able to do that, and have one show up. That would be cool.
The dialogue in the third panel refers to Ron Paul’s Paranoid Kook Reports, which contained the theory that the LA riots only came to a halt because everyone went to pick up welfare checks. And right-wing noise machine poopshoveler Brent Bozell said on Fox News that Obama looked like a “skinny ghetto crackhead.” Rick Santorum has also made similar comments to Newt’s.
For data on food stamp usage, I looked at this USDA report (big PDF, via the ThinkProgress article linked above; page 75 has the breakdown) and this, which documents disproportionate rural usage, largely by children.
Newt Gingrich promises to make English the official language of government, but on Monday he sent an e-mail appeal in Spanish asking for support at the Iowa caucuses.
With the subject line, “Ayudenos en Iowa,” the message continued in Spanish: “The Hispanic community is so important to the success of this campaign and you can make all the difference by making calls and getting the citizens of Iowa to vote on Jan. 3.’’
It asked supporters to make phone calls from home to rally voters, explaining how to log on to the campaign’s Web site. “Please note there is a choice on top where you can switch between English and Spanish, depending on the language of the person who answers,’’ the message explained. Mr. Gingrich also has a Spanish version of his campaign site.
Mr. Gingrich, like the other Republican candidates, regularly hears at town hall meetings in Iowa that a slice of voters are deeply disturbed about the 11 million or so illegal immigrants in the country. A woman pressed him at an appearance here on Monday: “How can you convince me and others that you’re the candidate” who’s going to do something?
He repeated that he would make English the official language of government, a call that earned him some of the loudest applause of the day.
I love Newt for pure hypocrisy like this.
Newt Gingrich didn’t back down on his idea of subpoenas forcing judges to speak ondecisions he feels are radical (with a threat of impeachment), his go-to example being the 9th circuit court of appeals, which historically has a left-leaning streak. It begs the question, however, as Megyn Kelly asked — what’s to stop a liberal president from using this against a conservative-leaning court? What Newt is proposing is a sweeping and seemingly politically motivated system of judging, well, judges.
If you can’t read the signage above, it says “Faithful Republican…Unfaithful Husband.”
He is literally the poster boy for adultery.
It’s an ad for Ashley Madison.com, a website to find cheating spouses.