Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday explained that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) had recently blamed poverty on “inner cities” because he was working hard to help those communities.
In an interview with conservative radio host Bill Bennett last week, Ryan quoted the work of Charles Murray, a white nationalist, who has used “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working and learning the value and culture of work,” Ryan opined. “So, there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
The Wisconsin Republican later admitted that his comments were “inarticulate.”
On Sunday, CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Priebus if he thought the remarks were “artfully phrased.”
“I’m not sure,” Priebus shrugged. “Here’s what I would say, why was Paul even talking about this? The reason he was talking about it is he devoted a large part of his life — starting back when he worked for Jack Kemp — on finding ways to tackle poverty, to free up capital, to create opportunities in urban areas around this country.”
“Whatever race, whatever gender, we are the ones leading the way, I think, in this country on these issues,” he added. “And so I commend Paul for his work that he’s doing around country.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast March 16, 2014.