The Dog-Whistle Behind Newt’s Food Stamps Rhetoric | Talking Points Memo

Throughout his campaign, Newt Gingrich has painted himself as the Republican candidate who will reach out to minority voters, particularly the African American community. Gingrich escalated those comments Thursday when he expressed a willingness to address the NAACP on “why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” When the NAACP called Newt’s comments “divisive,” Newt appeared baffled by their unenthusiastic response. Here’s the problem.Newt’s comments about the poor African Americans hit on a basic theme: that liberal policies have failed to raise them out of poverty and that Newt will explain to them how his Republican policies are preferable. At a dinner in Baltimore this summer, Newt explained to a largely white audience that the Republican message had not reached poor minority communities. “But we have to have the courage to walk into that neighborhood, to talk to that preacher, to visit that small business, to talk to that mother. And we have to have a convincing case that we actually know how to create jobs,” he said. “The morning they believe that, you’re going to see margins in percents you never dreamed of decide there’s a better future…I will bet you there is not a single precinct in this state in which the majority will pick for their children food stamps over paychecks.”

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