Rick Santorum Singles Out Blacks Receiving Entitlements

The GOP presidential candidate says he wants to help Blacks earn their own money.

Posted: 01/03/2012 02:46 PM EST
Rick Santorum singles out blacks - BET Politican Photos

In one of those “what was he thinking” type moments, GOP White House hopeful Rick Santorum singled out Blacks as being dependent on government entitlement programs, such as welfare and Medicaid. Santorum told a mostly white audience in Iowa earlier this week that he doesn’t want to "make Black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money."


Odder still, as CBS News reports, is the fact that the statement was in response to a question about how to reduce foreign influence on the nation’s economy. Santorum recalled a conversation he’d had with a welfare department employee in the state who said the state could be fined for not signing up enough people on Medicaid.


“They're just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That's the bottom line," he said, adding, "I don't want to make Black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."


When asked about the comment, Santorum said that he’s concerned about people being dependent on government regardless of their race or ethnicity. According to CBS News, in Iowa nine percent of Blacks receive food stamps, compared to 84 percent of whites.


Speaking on NBC News’ Meet the Press, Santorum accused President Obama of being divisive, calling him the “divider in chief.”


“This president goes out and gives speech after speech after speech trying to divide America between class, between income group, between racial and ethnic groups, this is the great Divider-in-Chief,” he said. “And it's very difficult when you're being lampooned by the president on a regular basis, not just as a party, but individually."


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(Photo:  Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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