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. Dave S

    I'm no republican, but I agree completetly. No one on public aid should be cranking out yet another kid for the rest of the country to pay for. One was too many for you to afford, yet you keep making "mistakes"? What type of environment is being provided for the kids to grow up in with that "logic"? Just because I like cars doesn't mean I can afford 6 of them-and it'd be my own fault if I went ahead and bought them all anyway. I shouldn't (and wouldn't) expect the rest of the country to bail me out.

    January 25, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. eyeballs

    great picture, 2 wackos.

    January 25, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Just some guy

    Gota love South Carolina. By now you have to think it is intentional because it has happened so many times by SC politicians.

    January 25, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Ben in Texas

    South Carolina could be reasonably confused with Lower Slobovia in terms of its overall intellectual level. They should trade out the Stars and Bars on their capitol for the more representative swastika, as it now seems they want to euthanize poor people, who are such an inconvenience to the rich.

    For those who have forgotten, or never knew, here's how it works. Poor people have no lobby. They don't vote. The only reason they get welfare is because the rich need insurance that the poor will not rise up against them and kill them in their beds.

    REAL welfare is the purview of the rich and corporations, which drain your tax money as no poor person could dream of doing. Corporations own the government and use your taxes to benefit themselves. Corporations have all the power, own the politicians, write the laws, and control the media. Now, through the complicity of the Extreme Court, they can buy politicians legally by spending unlimited funds on campaigns, which bribery is now referred to as "free speech".

    January 25, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. RealisticExpectations

    Did someone stick his foot firmly in his mouth?

    You can't jam the genie back into the bottle, dude. You're stuck with what you said. Now live with the consequences.

    January 25, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. usualone

    Republicans continue to disrespect anyone who doesn't think like they do. Actually, besides insulting the people he is referring to in the article, he also insults the animals. I'm sure a few people have choice words for selecting which animal he is like...Again, he is insulting the animal, even if it is a skunk.

    January 25, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Fair Isn't

    like "stray animals" because "they breed" and "don't know any better."

    Like politicians?

    January 25, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Winkandanod

    In other words, he's sorry if he offended any animals.

    January 25, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. TONY

    These republicans are so racist all right wingers are racist jerks.

    January 25, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Michael in Houston

    geez pal.....nothing looks worse or weaker then a grown man kicking a kitten. Whats next on your agenda....going into the schools and yanking food trays from 3rd graders?

    Your right about one thing though.....we have alot of problems in this country and frankly your kind is one of the biggies.

    January 25, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Not as much as he's going to regret it.

    BTW, nice juxtaposition with the picture CNN. GOP economic and social ideology is about as nutty and reality-based as Scientology. Not sure who the bigger kook is in that picture: the one who believes in trickle-down economics or the one who believes in space aliens. I'd like to see a poll on that haha

    January 25, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. tom

    HE HAS TO GO NOW

    January 25, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. bts

    Too late! You showed your true colors.

    January 25, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Edward Veidt

    Just like a Republican pig to blame the poor for poverty. These people are monstrous.

    January 25, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Clint, Wa.

    The words of a true Republican, "they breed" and "don't know any better." now trying to cover his tracts.

    January 25, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Albert K. L.A., CA

    This Republican lost his head in translation of the French, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" ("Let them eat cake"). It is his kind of thinking which lead to the French, "Vive la revolution!" and the heads did role.

    January 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Mlhall

    First thing first give Mr. Bauer lesson in how to treat people. The Bible says the poor will be with us always. I guess Mr. Bauer says God is a liar. Hey he is the one who must meet his maker, I just feel sorry for him, I guess he know he must die one day and he can’t take one thin dime with him, and I think God for that. Mr. Bauer they don’t have a Well Fargo in hell, the only lake you will see will be of fire. I know just because you are white you think you will not die but you will and guess what you don’t get the chance to tell God how to do his business.

    January 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. mike

    HEY ANDRE, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ??
    SHAME ON YOU.....MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU, BUT
    I HOPE THE VOTERS OF YOUR STATE WILL NOT.....

    January 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Greg in Virginia

    Back Pedal, Back Pedal....Splish Splash....Back Pedal, Back Pedal....Splish Splash.

    Republican Trash thinks he can just say what he want's and then appologize for it. He know exactly what he was saying and what he meant and now some higher up Republican is slapping him on the wrist and telling him you can't say things like that even though its true.
    I hope this animal gets put in a cage and the key gets thrown away.

    January 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. hobart

    His slip of the tongue is precisely what Republicans really think. If we let them, Republicans would abolish social security, medicare, medicaid and public schools, as well as all other public programs. That they stood and cheered in unison as the SCOTUS gave absolute power to corporations last week tell us all we need to know about them. Although the dishonestly claim to represent Main Street, they most assuredly do not.

    Why do Republicans hate America.

    January 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. granpa

    What is it with people/elected officials in South Carolina?? What is really going on in that state?? I'm going to drive through there this summer, I just have to stop and take it all in for myself...Disgusting!

    January 25, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. John in Tampa

    "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?"

    This explanation is absurd. What happens to his poor cat when he goes out of town has nothing to do with whether or not it is a stupid cat that breeds too freely, or if it somehow reminds him of people. What's he smoking?

    January 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Adam in CO

    Comments from somebody born with a silver spoon.

    January 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. harvey

    Massachusetts voters should check out Andre's website: "Congratulations to my friend, Senator-elect Scott Brown" and a photo of Bauer "on the trail with Doug Flutie". Think Brownie and Tootie Flutie will distance themselves from someone who compares people on welfare to stray animals? Never Happen!!

    January 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Greg Shell

    So he says he is "not against animals". He is just against helping the poor and needy. What a joke. Typical conservative.

    January 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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