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. stephanie

    Welfare is a systemic failure; and alot of people on it are like unneutered animals continuing to breed to get bigger & bigger checks. Raising kids that only see that. Don't just bash the republicans or the democrats or the independents. It is our fault as Americans that we let these abuses of our system by the population as well as the government without standing up and doing anything about it.

    January 25, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Robbie Steinmetz

    Honey, you can twist that one any way you want and it won't get any better. I would suggest you look for a different day job.

    January 25, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Gloria

    What an idiot!!! He meant exactly what he said....he is changing his tune because he got called out on his comment. Same old republican party!!!

    January 25, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    From the party of NO:
    Travis Wrote:
    Childrens story

    Rep "Little engine that could"
    Dem "Little engine that can't"

    Should be:

    Rep; "Little engine that shouldn't"
    Dem; "Little engine that better hurry up before things get any worse."

    January 25, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. CW

    This just goes to show you how racist and out of touch the Republican Party is.

    January 25, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. S Callahan can't stand hyprocrites...

    You are just making it worse.....

    Facts are ..there will always be poor...and the challege to your moral sensibilites is...are you going to help care for the poor? People are litteraly a paycheck away from food stamps from no fault of their own...more fault from corportate greed...yet they are the ones singled out and degraded by insensitive comments. Careful, God can humble you too!

    In addition, there are many abled body people working their tales off 40-60 hours a week in a low 'minimun' wage unable to keep up with the basics for their families...needing food stamps to sustain them. It's right they have that availabe to them. Oh, it just irks me the judging that is going on against the poor. Shame on you!

    January 25, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. texasgreenacres

    Hasn't any body told him politics is the welfare of the filthy rich.And the amount of money it takes to keep it working won't even make a dent in public welfare that serves the entire nation. And the number of politicians won't make a dent in the number served in the public.Can you see the numerical comparison? If you can you are wise if not you need to be a politician.

    January 25, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. DMania

    His comment was pretty dang stupid. What's really cracking me up is that he makes a stupid generalization about a specific group of people and liberals get all riled up about it. Their response to the stereotype is to stereotype as well.
    "can these southern white males get any dumber"
    "this is how Christians see fellow human beings"
    "What IS it with South Carolina"
    random Repub bashing 9 outta every 10 posts.

    Do you not see your own hypocrasy?

    January 25, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Doug

    I'll bet the crowd loved it.

    January 25, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. POD

    Wing Nut comments from a total dork chasin' the racist trailer-park-trash vote in SC

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Linda

    This is EXACTLY what he means and what most GOP supporters think- that if you are poor or need help, you are nothing better than a stray animal! That is why all they care about is their wealth, their wealthy friends and care less if Americans have health care or homes !
    This is sickening but I hope that people now can see even more how those wealthy Republicans think about American citizens – most of whom are poor because of the policies of the Republicans ! What a shame our nation has come to this and that people still vote for these idiots!

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Gil Oberdas

    The party of "no" hows that they can't even respect animals!

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. Pam

    Hmm...somehow it seems he is sorry for offending the animals, not the people receiving govenment assistance. Some people just live in a bubble and have no idea how real life might be.

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Paul Ernest Show

    Its unfortunate that a guy with such twisted perspective on life could find himself in a position of power. Little wonder some people are apathetic.
    They are born with golden spoons in their mouths and see no reason government should be engaged in trying to make life easier for people. The Republican party has a lot of work to do. Sorting out real leader from bigot.

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. John

    These politicians should stop apologizing for what is truly what they think. Wrong or right. It is a poor choice of words, but unfortunately he's correct. The more people live on the government dole, the more stray they become. They'll never truly find a home. That's how liberals want them to be: making them believe they're being helped by the government when in reality, they're not. Just living in limbo.

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Tammy

    Education -formal, and birth control education (incl. Palin's kids). Once people are educated, the cycle is broken.

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Mike1952

    He could have been more tactful, but his point is well taken. Many of those on the public dole are able to work, go to school, or in some way better themselves. These are the people he's referring to.

    In this country, I don't care if you are poor, you can improve yourself in a lot of ways. I know, I did it. I spent four years in the military, got the money for college and even a grad degree. Now I have a very good job and am blessed imeasurably. But too many refuse to work or go to school, choosing rather to do drugs and produce kids while living off of the taxpayer.

    January 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. mary alice nelson

    Too late to take the remark back!!! Isn't that the Republican way??
    How ignorant.

    January 25, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Roger

    Again a South Carolina politician making a fool of himself.

    January 25, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    When Harry Reid tried (BADLY, OK, I ADMIT IT) to make a POSITIVE comment about then candidate Barrac Obama, he got ALL KINDS Of hate from the "Right," the FAR "Right" and those so far to the "Right" that they make the rest of you look like sissies.

    What have you folks got to say about THIS moron?

    January 25, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Gil Oberdas

    Oh Io, speak for yourself. Some of us Obama proud supporters have BS. MA and PD's. A survey of teabaggers shows a high school education!

    January 25, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Lea

    The sheer ignorance of these "tea party republicans" simply takes my breath away. I am scared for this country. Idiots like this man unfortunately, still have the right to vote,and they are literally destroying this country.

    They don't want to help anybody once they have their 25 cents in the bank and their little McMansion in the suburbs. They don't read and interpret everything that happens only from their greedy selfish mean viewpoints. They've turned our govt over to corporations and the military complex. How sad. What good is a govt if it can't help it's most vulnerable citizens in times of need.

    We are no longer a super-power in the world, thanks to the way these brain-dead peope think and vote.

    January 25, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. ZeroBozos

    You people are hilarious. All this fake and/or misguided rage! What he said was 100% spot on ACCURATE. I think he should be slapped for apologizing.

    The accuracy of his statement is what stings you Liberal morons who cluster around Clinton News Network like the blowflies on a turd you are. Prove him wrong!! I can take you around and give you 100 examples in one afternoon of exactly what he was talking about.

    Save your self-righteous indignation for someone who gives a crap about being PC. Clue: It won't be anyone with an IQ over 75. By the way, sit back and watch the country continue to correct it's course. This has never been, and will never be, a Leftist nation. PERIOD.

    January 25, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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