Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday that it was good life experience for children as young as five or six to have a job.
For more than a week, the candidate has been talking about the virtues of child labor, calling current restrictions “truly stupid.”
“I got a little controversy going a week ago because I suggested that children could work,” Gingrich told a forum with local business leaders in Greenville, South Carolina Thursday.
He explained that a successful young woman had told him that her grandfather had paid her to run errands at the age of five. He also gave the example of a father that paid his 6-year-old son to help him wash the car and clean up the yard.
“Now, this is education in life,” Gingrich declared. “This is bringing people into the world of work, the world or prosperity, the world of savings, the world of investment — and we want every young American to have an opportunity to do that.”
“So, if you took the cost of the New York City janitors, the most expensive janitors in New York are paid more than the highest paid teachers. The entry level janitor is paid twice as much as an entry level teacher. It’s all because of the union. So, I say let’s keep two janitors who are adults who are professional. They do all the heavy stuff and the dangerous stuff. And let’s take all the other jobs and divide them up into part-time kids.”
At a meeting with Donald Trump this week, Gingrich announced that the business mogul had agreed to hire 10 poor children as apprentices.
“We’re going to be picking ten young, wonderful children, and we’re going to make them apprenti,” Trump told reporters. “It was Newt’s idea, and I thought it was a great idea.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Dec. 8, 2011.