In order to combat what he views as a “culture of poverty,” the newly minted Republican front-runner believes poor kids ought to be employed as janitors in their schools.

“I believe the kids could mop the floor and clean up the bathroom and get paid for it, and it would be OK,” said the self-styled ideas man.

Sorry, were you under the impression that the working class works? Allow Newt to correct the record: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”

There’s conservative, and then there’s let’s turn school into a Dickensian nightmare.

Gingrich’s comments, made over the course of a couple of different events last week, have, as you might expect, upset a lot of people. Gingrich sought to clarify his remarks Monday in New York, saying he was only talking about kids from housing projects who were older than the nine-year-olds previously referred to. — PZS

New York Times:

Mr. Gingrich said his proposal, which he had presented as a taste of his “extraordinarily radical” antipoverty ideas, had been distorted by critics.

“I do not suggest children up to 14, 15 years of age do heavy janitorial work,” he said. They could work in clerical roles or do light maintenance, for instance.

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