MSNBC's Hayes Slams 'Shameful Spectacle' of 'Anti-Food Stamp Jihad' by Republicans

On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes complained about an "anti-food stamp jihad" by House Republicans, and attacked the GOP for putting on a "shameful spectacle" in trying to cut the food stamp program.

With the words "War on the Poor" and an image of House Speaker John Boehner displayed on screen behind him, Hayes railed:

And no one in Washington, particularly on the Republican side, seems to be at all concerned about the continued economic misery of millions of our fellow citizens. So it seems to me that the very least, the absolute least, a decent wealthy society can do amidst an unprecedented period of economic stagnation and vastly unequal prospects for our people, is to just make sure our fellow citizens don't go hungry. What a shameful spectacle to watch Republicans prove their ideological bonafides at these people's expense.

As he recounted the large number of Americans who receive benefits from the program, the MSNBC host exclaimed, "Thank God for food stamps," and found fault in Republicans having the opposite reaction:

In 2012, more than 46 million people received SNAP benefits, a 76 percent increase since the recession began in 2007. I look at those figures and I say: Thank God for food stamps. But Republicans look at that and say: You know what, man, we've got to cut food stamps because they're working too much. In fact, Republicans have become obsessed with the growth of food stamps as some kind of indicator of Barack Obama's subversive plan to seduce a nation of takers into permanent indolence and handouts.

After clips of several conservatives calling President Obama the "food stamp President, the MSNBC host soon added:

"Food stamp President" is nonsense, of course, as even the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page pointed out: "The food stamp boom began with the George W. Bush Republicans who expanded benefits in the appalling 2002 farm bill." But with Barack Obama in the White House, the House Republicans are now on an anti-food stamp jihad.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, June 18, All In  with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES: Now, here's the thing you need to understand about the food stamp program. As the country has cut back on social safety nets -- I'm talking about welfare reform, austerity measures -- food stamps have remained the most successful social safety net program we've had during the Great Recession.

In 2012, more than 46 million people received SNAP benefits, a 76 percent increase since the recession began in 2007. I look at those figures and I say: Thank God for food stamps. But Republicans look at that and say: You know what, man, we've got to cut food stamps because they're working too much.

In fact, Republicans have become obsessed with the growth of food stamps as some kind of indicator of Barack Obama's subversive plan to seduce a nation of takers into permanent indolence and handouts.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: -most effective food stamp President in American history.

FORMER SENATOR RICk SANTORUM (R-PA): He is the food stamp President.

CHERI JACOBUS, THE HILL, ON FOX NEWS LIVE: He is the food stamp President.

SEAN HANNITY, FNC HOST: We haven't had this many people on food stamps in the history of the country.

HAYES: "Food stamp President" is nonsense, of course, as even the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page pointed out: "The food stamp boom began with the George W. Bush Republicans who expanded benefits in the appalling 2002 farm bill." But with Barack Obama in the White House, the House Republicans are now on an anti-food stamp jihad.

So this week they proposed a farm bill that would cut food stamps by $20 billion over 10 years, which means some two million people would lose benefits under the House proposal. The President, to his great credit, gets how wildly cruel and destructive the Republicans' proposed cuts would be, and yesterday the White House threatened to veto the entire bill if Congress passes the House version:

The bill makes unacceptable deep cuts in SNAP, read a statement, which could increase hunger among millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including families with children and senior citizens. His senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Right now, there are almost 12 million people out of work, and the House Republicans are busy, as we noted, passing unconstitutional abortion bans. The sequester cuts are costing government jobs and shrinking paychecks while wages stagnate. And most new job creation happens in the low-wage service sector.

And no one in Washington, particularly on the Republican side, seems to be at all concerned about the continued economic misery of millions of our fellow citizens. So it seems to me that the very least, the absolute least, a decent wealthy society can do amidst an unprecedented period of economic stagnation and vastly unequal prospects for our people, is to just make sure our fellow citizens don't go hungry. What a shameful spectacle to watch Republicans prove their ideological bonafides at these people's expense. We'll be right back wit with "Click 3."