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

South Carolina Republican regrets 'stray animal' metaphor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/25/art.bauercruise.bauer.jpg caption="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. Sandra, Atlanta

    First of all, you should realize that not all people on welfare sit at home and 'wait for a check' and breed. Many people want to work. You sir, show your ignorance and prejudice.

    January 25, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. JT in Fla

    Another nasty republican jerk.This guy is nothing but an animal himself. I wonder how much manual labor this idiot has done in his life.

    January 25, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Chicago Jim

    It's amazes me that the mainstream media continues to refuse to report the hypocrisy of these so-called "religious" conservative politicians. This guy is gay and has done more harm to people like him than Larry Craig.

    January 25, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. J. Jeremy

    I think he's more sorry that he might have insulted stray animals with his comparison than the fact that he insulted the PEOPLE he compared them with... I wonder how many more people were forced into welfare because of the economic hardships his party is responsible for. What a judgmental jerk!

    January 25, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Jim

    Of course he regrets it... it backfired. It it hadn't, you wouldn't hear about him regretting it. This from the party that complains about Democrats being fascist... nice...

    January 25, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Craig from Atlanta

    I guess its great that he's "not against animals". What a jerk!

    January 25, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Matt

    Poor choice of words but it does ring true. There needs to be certain stipulations for receiving Gov't aid. It'd be a great way to pay back society and help people get back on their feet and more involved in their kids' lives.

    January 25, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Patsy, Texas

    'Why do these idiots always "regret" their words after the fact. If
    they don't know what they say is wrong before they say it, then
    they really don't need to be running for office. They obviously
    don't care who they hurt. Their words are out there, the damage
    is done, and that was the intent. This Bauer character obviously
    lacks compassion, common sense and and the intelligence to
    do anything constructive. America will continue to struggle
    until "those in charge" learn the meaning of RESPECT!

    January 25, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. John from Sacramento

    "People receiving government assistance are like "stray animals" because "they breed" and "don't know any better."

    That seems like an accurate depiction of what is going on, or what I have personally witnessed taking place in California at least.

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

    Nobody should be shock, we all know that republicans think that way. He just said what all republicans think.

    January 25, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    The right wingnuts will now send him $4 million for his campaign.

    January 25, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Vietnam vet

    He is right. I am sick and tired of paying for women who have children like rabbits and are on WIC, Section 8 housing and Medicaide. I was in the Army for 6 years, went to college got a Masters degree, went through a 5 year apprenticeship and have been unemployed since October 2008. I have gone through my life savings and have moved back with elderly parents. Give me a break. Stop throwing my money down the toilet. Reward people for working, not reproducing.

    January 25, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. SBin KC

    Maybe you should watch the company to keep

    January 25, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. whaley41

    greg, San Francisco, CA January 25th, 2010 11:49 am ET

    South Carolina – home to the country's dumbest politicians. Come on Oklahoma, time to step up!
    Better look at your own state, Greg, before you talk about SC. Lots of dumb politicians from your state....how about Nancy for starters!

    January 25, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Richard L

    As is shown often by people like Robertson and this joker, the title "compassionate conservative' is frequently nothing but hypocrisy.

    Any surprise he's second only to Mark Sanford for Republicans in SC?

    January 25, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Carl Davis

    Gov. Bauer said... "I never intended to tie people to animals." No problema, dude, we are animals. That appears to be a problem among these uhh religious types. They believe that they are not animals but sperate from nature. Ironic that the only aspect that differentiates us from the animals with instincts are our alleged ability to reason. After reviewing the history of Homo Sapiens I believe the world would be far better if God took back our ability to reason because we haven't used it wisely and put us with the "lesser" animals who rely purely on instinct.

    January 25, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Typical – makes an inflammatory remark designed to rile up his ignorant base, then issues an "apology" all the while winking at his ignorant base as if to say, "look what political correctness has made me do". He's a dipwad. On an unrelated note, Tom Cruise looks like crap in that picture.

    January 25, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. joe magarzatz

    Boz.....your commoent "...hopefully he doesn't breed and create little monsters like himself, how do people like you get in these positions??????????/" get elected to office by people who think like him but don't have the guts to say such thing publicly. Frightening isn't it?

    January 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Debbie

    Many of us in SC blasted our legislators for not impeaching Luv Guv Sanford for going AWOL & several unethical & possibly illegal activities. Our reps said, "nobody wants Bauer in the Gov's office." Sincere apologies – they were oh-so right! His back-pedalling explanation here doesn't do justice to how stunningly & clearly hateful his original statement was. Oh, and his big "legislative effort" was Christian license plates. More material for the comedians.

    January 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Dar

    OH come on CNN, get over it, this is old news.
    Why dont you report on the Checchi & Co deal that Odumbo just dished out with out a bid process that Odumbo promised. Did you know that Checchi & Co contributed to Odumbo's campain? 25 millon dollars to teach the Afgans how to become lawyers, why does this suprise me.
    Wonder who else Odumbo has dished money out to? Or IM sorry, gave contracts to.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. scott winter haven

    I love how liberials love to quote the Bible when it serves them.........Abortion? Any libs want to use and scriptures to argue your case there? Nothing but liberals reaching for anything they can on this blog. Obama One and Done!

    January 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Paul

    Ironic, since Andre Bauer and his GOP tend to be reptiles. Pure competitive instinct, no empathy, no rules, no regrets. Omnivores with a detachable lower jaw. They will swallow their competitors whole if they get in their way. Will somebody please get Andre a nice warm rock to lay on?

    January 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. J.Crobuzon

    Bauer should be put down.

    January 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    When people are used to using such words regularly, they sometimes pop out without much effort. Any more explanations just make it worse. Why not just apologize and hope voters have short memory?

    Our words do follow our thoughts. It really shows.

    January 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Susan JP

    He only regrets that it got published widely. This is how the Republicans feel about everyone with less than a million bucks a year – wish all the poor fools who vote for them would figure this out.

    January 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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