January 25th, 2010
05:32 PM ET
4 years ago

South Carolina Republican regrets 'stray animal' metaphor

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer poses with actor Tom Cruise at a NASCAR race last year.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer poses with actor Tom Cruise at a NASCAR race last year.

(CNN) - South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, under fire for drawing a comparison between needy people and "stray animals," said Monday that he regrets his choice of words.

In a phone interview with CNN, Bauer, a Republican candidate for governor, said, "I wish I had used a different metaphor." Bauer told an audience Friday that people receiving government assistance are like "stray animals" because "they breed" and "don't know any better."

"I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before opting for a kinder animal metaphor: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

Noting that he has raised money for a group that protects animals, Bauer also said he is "not against animals."

But Bauer said he is committed to finding ways to end the "culture of dependency" created by government assistance. He suggested that people on welfare undergo drug testing or be mandated to attend parent-teacher conferences. Efforts at self-improvement, such as job-training or earning a high school equivalency degree, should be rewarded.

Otherwise, he argued, people will just sit at home waiting for a government check. He called that a "systemic problem."

"If some of these people who are currently on welfare were put to work you wouldn't have an immigration problem," he said. "The welfare system is so entrenched that nobody wants to do manual labor jobs."

Asked about criticism from his political opponents, Bauer argued that many voters in South Carolina agree with him. He said he is only telling hard truths that have been swept under the rug for decades and called for a "mature discussion" about welfare in South Carolina. He said he has spoken about the issue for months, and not once has a voter objected.

"That's part of being a leader," he said. "Politicians stand up and give eloquent speeches that make you feel good, but they don't do anything about it." Referencing President Obama, Bauer said: "That's why we have some of the problems we have in this country today."

Bauer has also been rumored to have considered switching races to run for Congress in South Carolina's first congressional district, a seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Brown. "I am not running for Henry Brown's seat," he said.


Filed under: Andre Bauer • Popular Posts • South Carolina
soundoff (573 Responses)
  1. Catherine

    as someone who works near minium wage for a living, who has decided not to have kids I can't afford, and an avid animal lover, rest assured you don't have to apologize to me, I've had enough of the bleeding heart liberal crap & it's about time someone tells the truth, even if it came out the wrong way.

    January 25, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. RB

    wow, its ugly when the true colors come out

    January 25, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. bob

    "Noting that he has raised money for a group that protects animals, Bauer also said he is "not against animals."" Nope nothing against animals, its people that don't talk, smell and think like him that he hates.

    January 25, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Mike, FL

    Another moran from SC!!

    January 25, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Dakota

    Well, just what kind of remark about poor people do you really expect from a Republican? He is so typical of Republicans and their "welfare" mentaliy. Don't they realize that welfare does not exist any longer....that any money a person receives is for the children....that adults can't get "welfare"... ?

    The real problem with Republicans is that they believe their perceptions are the truth....they never do any research....question their own notions and perceptions.

    Let's sent them all to Afghanistan, a country more to their liking.

    January 25, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Dave C - NJ

    ahhhhhhhhhh yes, the Rallying Cry of the GOP: WELFARE CHEATS! Why should our tax dollars help people that don't work? yada yada.

    First off, yes, we should have some restrictions....but those restrictions cost a lot of money and the GOP would never vote to pay for it.

    Second, we give welfare to keep the economy healthy. The alternative is to have a lot of broke people not buying anything, thus hurting businesses like supermarkets.

    Third, we spend pennies to the dollar compared to CORPORATE WELFARE. If you break down your taxes, very little goes to food stamps...but a larger portion goes to Big Business so that they can help our economy.

    It's a STRAW MAN tactic to attack those on welfare. Go after your buddies in Big Business...make them accountable for the billions they get. You will save a lot more than if you knock off a few welfare moms because of failed drug tests. Where are the tests for Corporate America?

    January 25, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. SouthendBos

    He's a pig.

    January 25, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. liberal wingnut

    Well is he that far off??

    January 25, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Christie

    Yes, Mr. Lt. Governor, you meant to make the statement. You regret getting caught and your remarks being printed. The sad point about your statement is, there are more whites on public assistant then there are people of color.

    Your remarks are unforgiveable!

    January 25, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Mad Matt

    When idiots like Bauer say stupid things like this it just opens the door for racist and hateful people to think it's OK to say hurtful things.
    I would rather be poor and decent than to be rich and republican.

    January 25, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. billtouch

    Interesting. He isn't against animals, just poor people.

    If he really wants to do something, fix it so assisted health care doesn't go away as soon as someone gets a minimum wage job. Provide day care for single parents with children. Most people on assistance would love to be able to work. The biggest road blocks are who will take care of the children and health care. The third greatest roadblock is transportation outside of the larger cities. He is right about the culture of dependence but it is induced and can be fixed. But it can only be fixed with respect.

    January 25, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Tony

    Thought provoking...at least

    January 25, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Jerry

    Well maybe stray animals is to strong, lets just call them left wing liberal Obama support people.

    January 25, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. big papa

    He meant every word of it...

    ...he's a racist, discompassionate, South Carolina privilege monkey...

    ...who shills for the master...

    ...Dixie will NEVER be back Bauer, Joe Wilson and Jim Demint...

    ...so just go away you demons and leave us humans alone...

    January 25, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Dave C - NJ

    On FOX I saw a post from a conservate goon that said "I'll vote Democrat the day I see a poor man give a rich man a job."

    That happens everyday when poor people buy Big Macs and Pepsi...the richest in this country get that way off the backs of the poor buying their crap everyday.

    Trickle up is better than trickle down....thus proved by Reagan in the 80's whoi raised taxes when he realized that his conservative tax policies were a mistake.

    January 25, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Bob

    Yes, and if the costs for health care for these "stray animals" are too high, well...that's just too bad for them. We certainly can't be spending the tax dollars of the $250k/a year privileged on caring for "stray animals". It's an attitude that has pervaded the so-called health care debate, and it was good for Bauer to make that attitude explicit.

    January 25, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. rich

    iam sick of these people who claim to have had a slip of the tounge and know that in their heart they really meant what they said..... but only in the racist state of south carolina can you say crap like this and get respected. they do treat people like stray animals in the state. does the corridor of shame ring a bell?

    January 25, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Sgt. USMC

    Are you kidding me? What a jerk... this guy unfortunately represents what is wrong with most repugs. They don't see people as people but as "stray animals" if you do not fit into their standards. Get rid of this animal!

    January 25, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. I'll never go hungry again!

    Well, we know he's a wacko now, hanging out with Tom Cruise

    January 25, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. phillip agee

    i don't agree with the metaphors but the man has a point!

    January 25, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. butler1

    Another compassionate Republican politician! I only hope and pray that one day the bastard gets to experience the need to be on government assistance. I really wonder about this breed of human being that could embrace such thoughts to such an extent that they can't help but espouse them. But then again politicians have the ability to say things aloud, and then convince the electorate that what was said was not what was meant. Boy are we dumb.

    January 25, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. Turtle148

    When I needed assistance I was denied? Why? I was honest and said I lived with my parents when I was 20. I was in college, had an 8 month old, just finalizing a divorce, and was in the Guard. I WAS DENIED! Instead of being lazy, I went to work and busted my butt. I now understand the value of working hard and OWE money this year in taxes!!
    Yet, my cousin is defrauding the government right now!! How? She told the people at food stamps and welfare she pays rent to her mom (100% lie, her mom pays all her bills even her cigarettes). No need to see a receipt proving you pay, just have your mom sign this! So she was granted food stamps, on top of WIC. She has a 2 month old! Did I mention she has not worked in over 2 years, and is getting unemployment? Yes because she has refused to look for a job as a waitress and will tell you she will not work. So I want to thank everyone reading this for taking care of my cousin. She is defrauding the government right now as you read this. Wic, food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment (soon to be welfare) she will never stop! She has a friend (also on all the government programs) who has shown her all the ways to get a huge income tax return with a 1099 from a company looking for some extra write offs. Pat yourself on the back, this is what we allow! One more blast of reality to everyone who thinks she deserves all the help we can give her- she is pregnant again! Congrats you have another mouth to pay for!

    January 25, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Sheri

    From the article: "Bauer told an audience Friday that people receiving government assistance are like 'stray animals' because 'they breed' and 'don't know any better.'
    ----

    Yet Bauer's salary–and healthcare– is taxpayer-funded.

    Could the irony be any thicker?

    January 25, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. annie s

    Please, Please. Please. Allow South Carolina to secede from the nation. I'm embarrassed that the Neanderthals in public office there are a part of the same country I live in.

    January 25, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    Good thing he wasn't a Democrat. That remark could have got him elected to Vice President.

    January 25, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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