Gingrich defends remarks on the poor, food stamps

AP News

1/16/2012 10:32:47 PM - AP News

Newt Gingrich is refusing to back down from comments he made about the poor.

In a debate Monday night in South Carolina, Gingrich was asked whether his previous remarks about food stamps and allowing children to work janitor jobs to instill a work ethic were "insulting," particularly to African Americans.

Gingrich replied that "only the elites despise earning money." The former House speaker said he won't stop raising the issues simply because liberals become uncomfortable.

Gingrich said he believes "every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness."

And he said that he will "continue to find ways to help poor people "learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn someday to own the job."