Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said at Monday's debate in South Carolina, "Unconditional efforts by the best food stamp president in American history to maximize dependency is terrible for the future of this country” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Moderator Bret Baier asked the former Speaker of the House what was the maximum number of weeks an unemployed person should receive benefits.
“All unemployment compensation should be tied to a job training requirement,” answered Gingrich. “If somebody can’t find a job, and they show up and they say, ‘You know, I need help,’ the help we ought to give them is to get them connected to a business-run training program to acquire the skills to be employable.”
He continued, “The fact is 99 weeks is an Associate Degree.”
This elicited huge applause from the South Carolina crowd.
“It tells you everything you need to know about the difference between Barack Obama and the five of us that we actually think work is good,” said Gingrich to more applause.
“We actually think saying to somebody, ‘I’ll help you if you’re willing to help yourself’ is good,” added Gingrich.
“And we think unconditional efforts by the best food stamp president in American history to maximize dependency is terrible for the future of this country.”