Pundits seem to think Newt did well at Sunday’s GOP debate in South Carolina. Newt clearly agrees with the them. In fact, he just produced a commercial consisting of two of his *zingers* from the debate (I’ve bookended the word zinger with asterisks because I think it looks zingier that way).
If Newt calling Barack Obama the food stamp president sounds like race-baiting to you, that’s because it’s supposed to. On January 6, Newt told a townhall meeting in New Hampshire “the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” To the best of my knowledge, Newt has never asked non-blacks to denounce food assistance programs.
In fiscal year 2009, 10.5 percent of Americans received food assistance from the U.S. government. During the 1982 recession, 8.8 percent of Americans received food assistance. When one considers the most recent recession was much worse than the 1982 recession, that increase is not especially notable – unless you’re a GOP candidate who’s trying to win the South Carolina presidential primary.
Incidentally, South Carolina has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country. It’d be nice if a reporter would ask Newt how he proposes keeping these kids fed while their parents are unable to find work. Pious bologna sandwiches, anyone?