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Gingrich: Poor Kids Have No Work Habits

'What's wrong with giving them a mop?' he wonders
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 2, 2011 1:42 AM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2011 5:44 AM CST

(Newser) – You know what the problem is with poor kids? They have no work habits, says Newt Gingrich. Simple as that. "They have no habit of showing up on Monday and staying all day, or the concept of: ’I do this and you give me cash'—unless it’s illegal,” Gingrich said. He made his comments to voters in Des Moines yesterday, reports ABC News, where he was called on to explain a plan he revealed last week to put schoolchildren to work as janitors (that's when he also called child labor laws stupid.) "You have a very poor neighborhood. You have students that are required to go to school. They have no money, no habit of work,” Gingrich said. “What if you paid them in the afternoon to work? What if they became assistant janitors, and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom?"

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He acknowledged there are still lots of details to work out in his plan, but the general idea is “exactly the right direction for America’s future," he said. Whatever he's saying must be working, because the latest poll puts him well ahead of the GOP pack. He has cracked open an impressive 21% lead over closest rival Mitt Romney—the largest lead of any candidate yet, reports the New York Daily News. The new Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters released yesterday also shows him with a razor thin 45%-43% lead in a hypothetical race against President Obama. (Read more Newt Gingrich 2012 stories.)

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