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Santorum tells Iowans: ‘I don’t want to make black people’s lives better’

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, January 2, 2012 14:13 EDT
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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore.
 
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Speaking to Republicans in Iowa on Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said his administration would reform welfare to the point that it would offer no welfare at all.

After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”

“I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families,” he added. “The best way to do that is to get the manufacturing sector of the economy rolling.”

One thing he likely overlooked: white Americans account for the largest percentage of welfare payments each month, mostly because they make up the largest sector of the population.

Welfare is defined by the government as benefits funded by tax dollars, meaning that programs like Social Security, food stamps, veterans benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment and corporate bailouts all fall under that term.

What Santorum seemed to focus on, as many conservatives do, is that black people are disproportionately represented in welfare statistics, along with Latinos, as both populations have much higher rates of poverty than whites.

According to the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were living in poverty in 2010, compared to 9.9 percent of whites. Unemployment statistics between the racial demographics are similarly skewed.

Despite the factually flawed nature of Santorum’s pitch on Monday, the underlying logic of his pitch is abundantly clear: census data shows that over 91 percent of Iowans are white, a community Santorum must desperately appeal to if he wants a win in Tuesday’s caucuses.

This video is from CBS News, broadcast Monday, January 2, 2012.

RELATED: Santorum blames own racial remarks on ‘someone trying to cause trouble’

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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