Speaking to a crowd at New Hampshire on Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that African Americans would rather collect food stamps than find employment.
“I will go to the NAACP convention, and tell the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps,” he said, according to Slate journalist Dave Weigel.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. Gingrich has previously said he would address the organization if they invited him.
The statement comes after another Republican presidential candidate has faced scrutiny for his comments linking African Americans to welfare.
In Iowa this week, Rick Santorum said he didn’t want to give welfare to “black people.” Instead, he wanted to “give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money.” Santorum later claimed he said “bllurh” not “black.”
The NAACP blasted Santorum for the comment on Wednesday.
“Senator Santorum’s targeting of African Americans is inaccurate and outrageous, and lifts up old race-based stereotypes about public assistance,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement. “He conflates welfare recipients with African Americans, though federal benefits are in fact determined by income level. In Iowa for example, only nine percent of food stamp recipients are black, while eighty-four percent of recipients are white.”