Newt Gingrich defended his views on child labor laws during a visit to Iowa. It's a state where he leads his GOP rivals by double-digits, and it's easy to see why…
"Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday," Gingrich claimed.
"They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal," he added.
The former House Speaker's comments come weeks after he came under fire for saying laws preventing child labor in America were "truly stupid" and suggested that schools fire janitors and replace them with working class students.
Normally, I'd bristle at child labor policy taking such a Dickensian turn, but Gingrich gets a pass. As a former Speaker of House he's uniquely qualified to talk about people who "have no habit of showing up on Monday." This week's session of the House of Representatives began bright and early. At 2:00pm. On Tuesday.
The Senate is off today, having exhausted itself not passing either party's version of the payroll tax cut extension, but the House, taking its cue from poor kids with "no habit of staying all day" will manage to slave away until… the afternoon, with final votes expected at 1:30pm. It's literally the least they can do, since Congress is soon expected to recess until the middle of January.
So perhaps Gingrich has a point. We've got to get a broom into these impoverished students' hands and instill a work ethic, lest they all end up in jail or on welfare. Or in Congress.
Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Children, House of Representatives, Iowa, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans