Bauer's welfare comments called 'immoral'

  • Follow Metro

COLUMBIA, S.C. - When things looked their darkest for Gov. Mark Sanford - when he was in danger of being impeached for running off to Argentina to see his mistress - his best insurance policy may well have been South Carolina's lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer.

Lawmakers knew if they removed Sanford, they would end up with Bauer, a fiercely ambitious Republican with a reputation for reckless and immature behavior.

Now Bauer has folks shaking their heads again, after he likened government assistance to the poor to feeding stray animals.

At a town hall meeting Thursday, Bauer, who is running for governor in his own right now that Sanford is term-limited, said: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

Democrats and others railed at him.

"I am disgusted by these comments. They show an unbelievable lack of compassion toward the unemployed workers in our state who are hurting during these hard times," said state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Democrat who is also running for governor. "His comments were immoral and out of line."

South Carolina schools Superintendent Jim Rex, another Democratic candidate for governor, called Bauer's comments "reprehensible" and said he should apologize.

Bauer said Monday that he regrets his choice of words but that government should expect welfare recipients to try to better themselves. He wants to require them to take drug tests and attend parent-teacher conferences if they have children in school.

A child of divorce who benefited from free lunches himself, Bauer insisted he wasn't bad-mouthing people laid off from work in the recession or advocating taking food from children, but rather emphasizing the need to break the cycle of dependency.

"Do I wish I'd used a different metaphor? Of course I do," the 40-year-old said. "I didn't intend to offend anyone."

Bauer has long been a love-him-or-hate-him figure in South Carolina politics. A nonstop campaigner and self-described workaholic, he was the youngest elected lieutenant governor in the country when he first won the No. 2 spot in 2002 at age 33.

Before his 2006 re-election, he shattered his heel when the single-engine plane he was piloting ran into power lines, crashed and caught fire. Bauer's office said the maintenance company that overhauled the engine botched the job. Court records show that a federal administrative law judge in June fined the company for returning the plane with incorrect bolts.

During the campaign, it was also disclosed that Bauer had been stopped for speeding twice, but not ticketed, even though in one instance he was going 101 mph in a 70 mph zone. He said he didn't realize how fast he was going and never asked for preferential treatment.

Bauer twice ran on a separate ticket from Sanford and the two have never been chums. In 2006, Sanford's now-estranged wife, Jenny, supported Bauer's primary opponent.

Bauer almost ascended to the top office last summer, after Sanford disappeared from the state for five days to be with his mistress. But the Legislature stopped short of impeachment.

Politicians who had gubernatorial ambitions of their own, or were backing other candidates, knew that replacing Sanford with Bauer would have given the lieutenant governor a year-and-a-half tryout for the job and the benefit of running as an incumbent.

At least three other Republicans and five Democrats have said they are running for governor.

Neal Thigpen, a political scientist at Francis Marion University, said Bauer tends to speak so fast and enthusiastically ("It's almost like a Gatling gun") that he sometimes "gets his mouth in place quicker than his head." Thigpen said the lieutenant governor's latest remarks could hurt him in the general election in the fall by allowing Democrats to portray him as "insensitive and downright cruel."

But as for the June Republican primary, "don't count him out. The kid's got a fanatical following," Thigpen said. "They're going to forgive him almost anything and stick to him like glue."

Similarly, Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said Bauer's words "came out as condescending and insulting," but his overall message about government dependency and personal responsibility will appeal to his evangelical Republican base.

State GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd, who is not taking sides in the race for the nomination, said the flap should be a lesson to everyone to "choose our words more carefully."

Comments (35) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
MarshCroaked
0
Points
MarshCroaked 01/26/10 - 05:37 am
0
0
I'm almost ready to move to

I'm almost ready to move to South Carolina just so I can vote for Mr Bauer. A voice of plain truth in the wilderness of politico double-speak.

Notreally
4
Points
Notreally 01/26/10 - 07:56 am
0
0
People say anything, I'm a

People say anything, I'm a firm believer sometimes you just need to keep your mouth shut. I wonder how many votes he lost behind this. Over on the Georgia side, Broun is next to utter something to give him another fifteen minutes.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 01/26/10 - 10:15 am
0
0
So are we to starve poor

So are we to starve poor children? Poor children who cannot be responsible for their plight? That seems to be such an unchristian-like attitude.

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 01/26/10 - 10:34 am
0
0
GEEEEZZZ Now I see why

GEEEEZZZ Now I see why they kept old STROM in as long as they did..very lean pickins.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/26/10 - 11:31 am
0
0
I agree with Bauer. No

I agree with Bauer. No teharper, we shouldn't let kids starve because of their parents total lack of responsibility and care. But there should be a stop to people who don't work and live off the system and do nothing but breed. If you contribute nothing to society why should you keep making more and more dependants for others to support? That is the point he is making and a dang good one!

seenitB4
90790
Points
seenitB4 01/26/10 - 11:47 am
0
0
There is a good article in

There is a good article in the Atl. paper about this,,,& it states poor families tend to have more children than affluent families. This can't be blamed on gov. or fixed by gov. This is a feature of poverty throughout history.It traps people in poverty for generations.. Changing that behavior is difficult,,& Bauer is correct in saying we need more candid conversation..BUT political correctness makes that debate impossible. Haiti is a good example of this,,but no one wants to say it. We need better birth control for many,, & we need to TALK ABOUT IT.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 01/26/10 - 11:54 am
0
0
People only get upset when

People only get upset when someone says the truth. Lies don't bother anyone

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/26/10 - 12:14 pm
0
0
exactly soldout....poor

exactly soldout....poor choice of words perhaps but a truthful simile non the less. They Do continue to breed and perpetuate the cycle as long as they are fed and housed by someone else ...kind of like Haiti. I do not know the answer but handouts are not fixing the dilemma.

aureliusdios
0
Points
aureliusdios 01/26/10 - 12:48 pm
0
0
If this is so true-- Mein

If this is so true-- Mein Kampf! May be a requirement for welfare and free food should be force sterilization for both males and females. We neuter stray cats don't we!

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 01/26/10 - 12:53 pm
0
0
Need better birth control. I

Need better birth control. I do agree with that statement....for everyone, no matter their financial situation. Then we need to get rid of abstinence only education in schools. There are many studies that show abstinence only education DOES NOT work. Is Bauer supporting abolishing abstinence only education?...probably not... might "offend" the religious right. Bauer should be advocating sex education in schools that include family planning.

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 01/26/10 - 01:02 pm
0
0
In South Carolina, 58 percent

In South Carolina, 58 percent of students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program.

Bauer's remarks came during a speech in which he said government should take away assistance if those receiving help didn't pass drug tests or attend parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings if their children were receiving free and reduced-price lunches. http://www.thesunnews.com/575/story/1276292.html

As I wrote earlier, Bauer is holding children responsible for their parents acts or inactions. How heartless is that?

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 01/26/10 - 01:14 pm
0
0
Seen- Can you post the link

Seen- Can you post the link to the article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution?

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 01/26/10 - 01:36 pm
0
0
Mr. Bauer should be given a
Unpublished

Mr. Bauer should be given a medal for speaking the truth. I may have to vote for him!

terry67
0
Points
terry67 01/26/10 - 01:38 pm
0
0
teharper428 - It's a ploy to

teharper428 - It's a ploy to get parents involved with their children. I know that we need to break the welfare chain and get ppl back to being self-sufficiant. And beleive me, for every man, woman, and child who needs help.....there are two who are abusing the system!

terry67
0
Points
terry67 01/26/10 - 01:45 pm
0
0
And ANYONE who gets

And ANYONE who gets government help.....SHOULD TAKE A DRUG TEST! If I have to take one TO work then they should take one to sit on their humps! I also feel that they should not be able to drink or smoke since this cost money that we don't have! NO sodas! NO cakes from the bakery! No big boxes of king crab legs! OH don't get me started!!!!

teharper428
2
Points
teharper428 01/26/10 - 02:19 pm
0
0
Terry - If Bauer meant it as

Terry - If Bauer meant it as a ploy, then he should have worded it differently. All he did was to offend most people.
The 1996 Personal Responsibility & Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act did reform welfare (also known as the Welfare Reform Act). It ended welfare entitlement and requires recipients to find work within 2 years or perform community service.
I think part of the problem is the perception of the "welfare queen." Did any of you know about the welfare reform bill of 1996, sponsored and passed by the majority of republicans? So if the bill is flawed....well you know who to blame.

Doyougetitnow
4
Points
Doyougetitnow 01/26/10 - 07:25 pm
0
0
harper, the bill isn't

harper, the bill isn't flawed, the recipients & overseers are. The recipients know how to dodge the "system" & the overseers don't know how to oversee. I personally know of one generational welfare family that's been scamming the gov for years, until last year when I became aware of it. They couldn't pass a drug test if their lives depended on it. I didn't know a thing about welfare until I was urged into this scenario, but I know more than most now. I see a welfare cheat now, they're toast. "Find work or perform community service within 2 years" you're joking, right? I have to pass a drug test to WORK, why don't they have to pass one to get MY money? I get it now; I have to pass a drug screen to give them MY money. BULLSh**t!

disssman
6
Points
disssman 01/26/10 - 10:00 pm
0
0
teharper428 the folks at the

teharper428 the folks at the gas station (and on welfare) buying stacks of lottery tickets didn,t seem worried about feeding the kids the money was intended for. Nor do the scum bags heading for their baby mama house on the days the checks arrive worry much either. I am not blind and you shouldn't be either. Do I want kids to be hungry? Absolutely not. Do I want daddy to pay child support? Absolutely. Should it be a crime to play the lottery while on welfare? Absolutely. Should there be a limit as to how long someone can be on welfare? Absolutely.

tired of the crap
0
Points
tired of the crap 01/26/10 - 10:04 pm
0
0
yea, i know a family that was

yea, i know a family that was raised on welfare and their kids kids on welfare and now their kids are on welfare when does it stop? to say there is reform is bull.it needs to be mandatory to stop after two kids, plug the hole up or do use an asprin.

KSL
134394
Points
KSL 01/26/10 - 10:32 pm
0
0
Stop after one kid. Who says

Stop after one kid. Who says they need to have more than one mistake they can't take care of.

KSL
134394
Points
KSL 01/26/10 - 10:36 pm
0
0
Here is the truth folks.

Here is the truth folks. Before LBJ, welfare did not pick up the ticket on babies not supported by dads. There were few cases that could very easily be taken care of by charitable organizations. I never heard of children dying of starvation in America. In comes LBJ and the rules changed. They changed to enable people to do willy nilly what they wanted to do at the expense of the taxpayers. No starving children then. Give them 9 months of notice and go back to that.

baronvonreich
0
Points
baronvonreich 01/26/10 - 11:08 pm
0
0
Bauer spoke what many of us

Bauer spoke what many of us believe. It just isn't politically correct anymore with all the taxtakers out there who can't or won't take responsibility for themselves. Drug testing and mandatory sterilization for the welfare moochers is a good start but I mean really America is to the point now where social Darwinism and only social Darwinism is going to clean up this mess. Yes teharper428 some children will have to suffer and be sacrificed unless you bleeding hearts want to volunteer to take care of them and open your homes to them and support them without forcibly robbing the rest of us to support them. Wouldn't that be the "Christian thing" for you bleeding hearts to do? Nobody is forced to live beyond their means. If you can't afford to live for a few months if you lose your job then you obviously need to make better decisions. If you have children you can't afford then you obviously need to make better decisions. If you refuse to educate yourself or learn a useful skill then you obviously need to make better decisions. If isn't up to the taxpayers to pay for your poor decisions.

dominionfs
0
Points
dominionfs 01/26/10 - 11:21 pm
0
0
As I wrote earlier, Bauer is

As I wrote earlier, Bauer is holding children responsible for their parents acts or inactions. How heartless is that?
Posted by teharper428 on Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:02 PM The truth is, it is the parents who are heartless 428. "Mom, i'm hungry" 'We got nothing to eat honey. The Man cut me off coz I gotta have my 40 and a bagga weed.' It is not society punishing these kids but their own parents, except in the eyes of bleeding hearts like 428. A parent will go without to provide for their child. This garbage does not deserve the title.

veritas14
0
Points
veritas14 01/26/10 - 11:39 pm
0
0
If you can't afford to live

If you can't afford to live for a few months if you lose your job then you obviously need to make better decisions. If you have children you can't afford then you obviously need to make better decisions. If you refuse to educate yourself or learn a useful skill then you obviously need to make better decisions. If isn't up to the taxpayers to pay for your poor decisions.
Posted by baronvonreich on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 PM As a youngster, I made some poor decisions. The consequences of those decisions were enough to convince me I needed to make better decisions. A wise man once said " Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement.' Yet today we refuse to hold people accountable for their actions or inactions as the case may be and justify all kinds of behavior with excuses. I escaped the consequences of bad behavior by improving my behavior. That is not too difficult to understand.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/27/10 - 12:12 am
0
0
Some people seem to be hung

Some people seem to be hung up on the exact meaning of welfare and their defense is this 2 year no work rule.. yes that may be true for a welfare/tanf cash benefit. When most people say welfare, they do not just mean the cash, they also mean the free housing, utilities, food etc... any type of "welfare" assistance.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/27/10 - 12:15 am
0
0
Doyougetitnow, what did u

Doyougetitnow, what did u mean by....." I didn't know a thing about welfare until I was urged into this scenario, but I know more than most now. I see a welfare cheat now, they're toast " do you work busting people like a fraud investigator? Just curious, Ive thought about doing that. Probably a dangerous job though, these immoral [filtered word]'s would probably kill if they lost their free ride. I know I've called housing on many people but nothing was ever done!!!

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/27/10 - 12:27 am
0
0
Did you guys also know that

Did you guys also know that section 8 tenants trash their places, fail inspections and it costs the landlords or section 8 wont pay? They have dog crap turned white on their floors, bubble gum all over the floor, their white or tan carpet black as asphault. They get 2 carpet cleanings a year and if their brats graffiti the walls, the landlord has to paint or section 8 doesn't pay. My question is why are these nasty tenants not kicked out when they fail inspections for being nasty and having their kids in unsafe living? Instead the landlord has to do it or kick them out. Why doesn't housing fail them and take their benefits? The landlords comply and dont kick them out to keep the sure money coming and thats wrong, but why doesn't housing step in and take these benfits away??? I called and reported a very nasty unsafe living environment to housing with evidence of drug use, boarders in the apt, and no kids living there. They scheduled an inspection with the tenants for 2 weeks away. Of course all was fixed when they got there, kids bedrooms set up and all. Why is there not suprise inspections for these people or at most 24hrs notice. They do not enforce anything on these people!!

veritas14
0
Points
veritas14 01/27/10 - 12:49 am
0
0
Takeastand- If the landlord

Takeastand- If the landlord attemps to evict a section 8 tenant, HUD provides the tenant with an attorney. There are move-in inspections to ensure the property compies with HUD guidelines prior to the tenant taking possesion of the premises but HUD stopped doing move-out inspections about 12 years ago. Is it any wonder there are less landlords of decent properties accepting section 8 tenants? There are ( or were at least as recently as 2005 ) compliance inspectors who show up when a report is made such as you stated, there was 2 to cover all 26,000 section 8 tenants in San Antonio, Texas. They usually did not make appointments but coordinated through the property manager. Section 8 is one of the many programs that need a thorough overhaul.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/27/10 - 02:37 am
0
0
wow, 2 for that many, no

wow, 2 for that many, no wonder nothing ever gets done. Suprise inspections would help a lot, then the ratio of tenants to inspectors would improve. The inspections in this area give the tenant a months notice usually. Its sickening the way these programs are run. If you work, even just making minimum wage you get absolutely no help and cant afford health insurance on that little pay. Quit your job, never work again and apply for all assistance programs and you get a free ride alltogether with medical coverage. Makes no sense what so ever to me. They make it to where its better to not work and breed than to put forth any effort. its no wonder so many abuse these systems. The ones they need to be helping are the ones who do work their tales off but need a little help like with medical coverage. But if you work period...you get nada!! I know a family has every assistance program available even the hubby claims he dont work and gets medicaid, but they both have full time jobs under the table. Makes me sick everytime I see them with something brand new like a big screen or a new truck. No one cares to stop these things even when reported.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 01/27/10 - 02:46 am
0
0
Also, I understand how taxes

Also, I understand how taxes work and understand the deductions and things of that nature, and for those who do work and a lot in taxes, it all works out eventually and i can see them getting a lot back, but it kills me when someone can have 5 kids, not work all year (on paper) and get all this assistance, work for 2 weeks at a fast food place just to get a w-2 and get back 5000 bux from the irs. These losers got paid 5000 for working at mickey d's for 2 weeks, rent, food, medical, and utility help all year and made full time money illegally in many different ways. Such BS. But work and try, just need a little help getting on your feet and you can't get one red cent. I thought these programs were supposed to be hands up not hand outs....silly me, lol

Back to Top

Top headlines

Georgia to monitor potential Ebola travelers

The new screening comes on the heels of a decision to funnel all of the travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to one of five airports where CDC and airports are conducting enhanced ...
Search Augusta jobs