Over the weekend, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker (D) challenged a tea party-affiliated critic to join him in living on food stamps for a week, and now it appears the challenge has been accepted.
The challenge was prompted by a tweet on Sunday from Twitter user @MWadeNC, whose bio reads: “Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR), fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism.. Army Veteran, Army Daughter, Army Wife.”
Booker had touched off a Twitter argument by quoting the Greek historian Plutarch, who wrote that “an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”
That quote, he explained, underpins an argument for public investment in education and nutrition, which he said would save money on police and prisons. That’s when @MWadeNC chimed in, saying “nutrition is not a responsibility of the government.”
“Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month,” Booker wrote. “U game?”
The critic accepted. “Great,” Booker replied. “Lets do this. I hope you live in New Jersey. Lets film it and see how we do.” Several other respondents offered to referee the challenge, and Booker appeared to welcome their assistance.
He followed up again on Tuesday, responding to another user who asked if he’s really prepared to participate in the challenge. “Yes preparing 2 if my challenge is truly accepted,” Booker wrote.
The U.S. Department of Labor says that more than 46 million Americans receive nutrition assistance. Mayor Booker was unavailable for comment early Tuesday.