Gingrich stands by anti-child labor law comments
December 1st, 2011
02:28 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich stands by anti-child labor law comments

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich appeared to stand by his controversial stance against certain laws governing child labor Thursday saying his previous comments were "spun out of control" by "the left."

"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works," the former House speaker told an audience at the headquarters for Nationwide Insurance.

He then seemed to imply that a young, poor individual's only likely source of possible income would be from breaking the law.

"They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash'–unless it's illegal."

Gingrich added that most successful businesspeople he knows started work "early" and made some kind of money when they were kids, whether it was by babysitting or mowing lawns.

Almost two weeks ago Gingrich called laws preventing child labor "truly stupid" and suggested students take the jobs of many janitors.

"What if you paid them part time in the afternoon to sit in the clerical office and greet people as they came in? What if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian? And I'd pay them as early as is reasonable and practical," he said Thursday.

"Then we get down to the janitor thing," Gingrich continued, in reference to his previous comments. "(I received) letters written that said janitorial work is really hard and really dangerous and this and that. OK, fine. So what if they became assistant janitors and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom. And you paid them."

Gingrich's comments on the issue came in response to a Nationwide Insurance employee's question in which he asked for some clarification from the candidate.

The Republican holds two more events in the Des Moines area Thursday.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. joe

    it is quite disturbing to think that someone would actually vote for this arrogent SOB over president obama. now you know how people end up in cults. they will believe whatever you tell them and not think for themselves. the GOP reminds me of that.

    December 1, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Here is a man, that pointed fingers at Climton, and bashed him none stop , when in fact he was doing the same if not worse. This guy now attacking the food stamps , again pointing fingers at obama, Has anyone seen the size of this Man? maybe he should try living on food stamps and just maybe he might avoid a heart attack, this guy who has a 500 thousand cridit at a famous jewlery store lmao. this guys face probably outweight me, I get sick of politicians who never take a look at themselves and blame others for this countrys problems, I will never vote for this tub of lard, he lives in a totally different world then most, and its a world of fatcats . This country needs to revolt, like in roman and other countrys and force these typ-es of peopole out , also this country is in for a shock, There will be a war rright here in the US, this countrys people are now formaing and going to protest like in other countrys and tople there own US government, why? cause this country , the regular people in it are sick of it, totally sick and things will change may not be what all want but there is going to be a war right here with US citizens

    December 1, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. proud parent

    I am proud to say that my children learned to work early. When my oldest soon was 14, I dropped him off at 6:00am at a local farm to help the farmer milk cows. He worked summers at the farm bailing hay and milking cows. Then at 18 he started to work for a small excavating business where he became forman of the crew. He is now about to head off to work on a contract in Afghanistan making $88K per year, plus free room and board. Newt has it right!

    December 1, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. longshot

    I'm still looking for that Contract With America to be upheld

    December 1, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Tom

    Sounds like he's advocating a massive expansion of government employees. That's not going to go over very well with "The Base"

    December 1, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. ja

    career politicans are in the habit of writng laws to favor corporate that will employ politicans after their political careers are over, take newt himself, their should be a ten year wait imposed, not to mention insider trading, trent lott resigned early to lobby

    December 1, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. whatthe!!!!!

    I had to read this twice. what is wrong with this guy

    December 1, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    Please don't put Gingrich under the microscope – yet. I would like to wait until he's the man for Obama to beat. :)

    December 1, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Yes, yes because Newt has such experience with being economically downtrodden. I mean didn't Tiffany's cut back on his $500,000 line of credit for jewelry for his Mannequin, er Wife?

    December 1, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The comment was NOT racist as there are poor in every race in every part of the world. It was, however, most undeniably insulting, condescending, and demeaning to poor people everywhere.
    It would only be viewed as racist by someone who thought that he was referring to poor Blacks only, for example. That would denote your own ingrained sterotypes and biases,not Gingrich's. He's an equal opportunity hater.

    December 1, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Joe

    Gingrich is right. I've had a job since I was 12. Before I was 18 I was delivering newspapers, working in a candy store, and then waiting tables. The result: I learned the value of honest work and today I'm a self-made member of the top 5% thanks to the values I learned as a kid.

    December 1, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Mike

    I wish I had put it in writing so I would have the proof that I was right in my hands at this moment, but I actually predicted republicans were going to go after child labor laws way back in march when they were attacking unions.
    I know these [expletive deleted]’s too well.

    December 1, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Independent Voters

    Newt is not to be trusted he seem like a evil old man

    December 1, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. jaywingfuller

    Yes Newt, and there are really rich children in really rich neighborhoods who have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So, exactly what is your point? Perhaps these really rich children should try being janitors. Perhaps YOU should try being a janitor!

    December 1, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. justin

    i am a rich kid (trust fund is well over 90 million). i spent my younger years partying and never had a job so when i turned 18 my parents deided to teah me some life lessons and cut me off. within a week i went from a multi million dollar condo to being homeless and had to get a job for the first time ever. i got a job in about a week making 8 an hr at starbucks but had no place to live and none of my rich friends would take me in. finally a coworker said i could stay with him...his whole family made less in a year than my father makes in a week, their whole house was as big as my bedroom and it was def in the hood. but you know what? i have never met a harder working kinder family in my life 5 ppl in the house (mom dad grandma two kids ) and then myself making 6 and noone was ever hungry or unhappy....just because ppl are poor doesnt mean they are lazy or worthless ... the only person who is worthless here is you newt you old money d bag.

    December 1, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. United We Stood

    Get those kids in the mines for an 80 hour work week already. Ahh the good old days of robber barons – -American exceptionalism at its finest according to the lizard.

    December 1, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. MaryM

    The GOP (guardians of plutocracy) are at it again. Do Americans really want to do away with child labor laws?
    NO we DONT

    December 1, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Do you think all of these kids are studying after they get out of school?"

    So your answer is "well, as long as they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, why bother trying to find a way to get them to do what they're supposed to be doing...what would improve their quality of life the most and their earning power and our workforce the most...when we can just put them to work scrubbing toilets instead? And hey, the added bonus is killing more union jobs!"

    December 1, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. LeRoy_Was_Here

    Garsh, yes! Put them stuped kids too work! They's cain't larn nuthin' in shcool, anyhows! Stuped teachers dont teach 'em nuthin, 'cept mebbe how to put on a condim! All they's ever larn is all that Darwan ape-man monkee bizness noncents! Then you get kids humpin' each other like bunnys, write their in the shcool hallways! Its sick, is what it is! Put 'em to work out in the tomatoe fields! That'll teach 'em! HAR!

    December 1, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "The comment was NOT racist as there are poor in every race in every part of the world. It was, however, most undeniably insulting, condescending, and demeaning to poor people everywhere."

    Exactly. Their classism is color blind.

    December 1, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Corporations R. People II

    Is the GOP trying to lose on purpose? Can they really be that out of touch? Stunningly poor field.

    December 1, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. GOP = Greed Over People

    Be a school janitor at the age of 9!

    Who needs to "spin this out of control"?

    Just reporting on what this idiotic moron said, just the facts, folks!

    December 1, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Joe

    Gingrich is right. I've had a job since I was 12. Before I was 18 I was delivering newspapers, working in a candy store, and then waiting tables.. The result: I learned the value of honest work .....
    ------------
    No one here is arguing against that. You have entirely missed the point.

    Newt is arguing "stupid" child labor laws. Current laws allow you to do those things. Current laws limit the numbers of hours per day a child may work, the hours of the day when a child may work, the types of jobs a child may perform, etc. Newt has called those laws "stupid".

    He's too proud to admit that his position means that it is okay for a child to work the graveyard shift in a coal mine 6 days per week. By defending him, you are arguing for the same type of abuse and child endangerment.

    December 1, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    What will the GOP do now? Every clown in that car has been at the wheel at one point or another only to crash in a nanosecond. November 30 was the cutoff date to submit the paperwork to run on the GOP ticket so they can't throw another clown in the car. It is to laugh!

    December 1, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Hotlanta Homey

    "Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,"

    Wow, talk about painting with a broad brush! Let me guess, their parents just sit around "drinking beer and watching the widescreen waiting for their handouts" as well.

    With such obvious bigotry and racism, who needs to spin anything, there it is in black and white!!!

    December 1, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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