UPDATE: Kingston on CNN discussing kids and free lunches

December 20, 2013 8:41 am

by Jason · 32 comments

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a candidate for Georgia’s open Senate seat, appeared on CNN moments ago to discuss his comments from earlier this week in which he floated the idea of kids working to pay for free lunches.

He insisted that the comments were part of a discussion and not a statement of policy. He also said that he is not picking on any particular socioeconomic class.

“These kids don’t want to be there, their parents don’t want to be there,” he said, adding that he believes his job is to help promote policies through which families can find better jobs and thrive.

Video is not yet available, but we’ll update with it later, assuming it is posted on the Interwebs.

[UPDATE] Here’s Politico‘s story on Kingston’s appearance this morning.

And video:

peachpundit (@peachpundit) December 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

New post: Kingston on CNN discussing kids and free lunches http://t.co/pFW8t5QWSF #gapol

griftdrift December 20, 2013 at 8:43 am

Day three of Kingston playing defense

Charlie December 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

But here’s the thing. This is a general election gaffe and Kingston is currently running in a wide open primary. He’s getting a ton of earned media across the state, helping build his name ID which is one of his weaknesses as a statewide Senate candidate.

I’m not sure the average GOP primary voter sees a problem with the remark, and if you listened to the way the CNN conversation went, it was quite charitable to Kingston with a conversation about “the value of a work ethic” and not about punishing kids born into poverty.

Thus, I’m not sure this is a negative for him at this time.

Jason December 20, 2013 at 8:52 am

Yeah, Kingston handled it well and the host was very gracious.

griftdrift December 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

Well that’s quite a sow’s ear silk purse.

griftdrift December 20, 2013 at 8:57 am

And actually I don’t disagree with the silver lining theory. But, and it’s a Sir Mix A Lot big but, eventually, the benefit of these Dickensian meanderings is going to be outweighed by the larger cost.

Chris Huttman December 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Sir Mix A Lot was more interested in butts than buts.

Dr. Monica Henson December 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I’m with Charlie on this. It was a gaffe, but it didn’t come across as Tea Party wingnut “hate the poor” crazy. It appeared well-intentioned, and I think it benefits him in the short run.

South Fulton Guy December 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

Whether you agree with his position on making disadvantaged children work for their food or not, you have to question his judgement to step in it and reinforce the false notion that the GOP does not care about children. It is as dumb and politically naive as Todd Akin’s comment that rape victims don’t get pregnant

Harry December 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

What’s false about the notion that kids have to work for food? If their families can’t afford to pay for the food, then they need to understand they need to work harder, and you know what? Some of those “poor” families will magically come up with money to pay.

South Fulton Guy December 20, 2013 at 9:11 am

Harry if you reread my post, my point was it was not a politically astute comment – whether you agree with it or not.

Telling the truth is not always wise and again I was speaking to his wisdom as a candidate and one who wants to represent GA in the US Senate. If your wife asks you if a dress make her look fat and it does do you say yes it makes you look fat.

Magically coming up with the money for school lunch is a different issue. Fraudulent claimants need to be identified and prosecuted.

Harry December 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

My point is that it’s always politically astute for politicians to make common sense observations about one way to remedy the massive disfunction in this failing country. There is nothing wrong with singling out kids whose parents don’t pay, and allowing them to work to pay off the debt. It’s a good lesson for them and all the others.

griftdrift December 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the orphanages and the warehouses full of beans, right Harry?

Harry December 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

You don’t seem to appreciate how many people are taking advantage of and getting over on the system.

griftdrift December 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

It’s practically an epidemic

Harry December 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

Well, yes it is.

benevolus December 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Military contractors are who is getting over on the system, wholesale.

South Fulton Guy December 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

somehow I suspect that if Jack Kingston could put those comments back in the toothpaste tube he would….

MattMD December 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

Every time I see him on national TV, I understand why the rest of the country thinks we are hicks.

Kingston is joke and he embarrasses all of us.

For instance, this clown rejects Evolution.

TheEiger December 20, 2013 at 9:12 am

I think you are mixing up your nuts here. Broun is the nut that doesn’t believe in evolution and Kingston is the nut that wants to force poor kids to sweep floors.

barstool69 December 20, 2013 at 9:39 am
TheEiger December 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

Wow, I stand corrected.

Joshua Morris December 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

Poor choice of words, no matter how you look at it. Providing nourishment for a child is the responsibility of the parents. Aren’t the WIC and food stamps typically issued enough to provide all three meals per day for these kids? Why not just require the parents to swipe the EBT card every month to cover the ‘free’ meals?

South Fulton Guy December 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

Good idea in theory except EBT does not allow purchases of “prepared foods”.

Harry December 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

There need to be an exception for school lunches.

bgsmallz December 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Just so I get this right…the more efficient and ‘less prone to waste’ way of providing school lunches is to re-write the law so that an exception can be written so that parents on food stamps can use those food stamps via such exception to buy school lunches?


And just so I’m clear, there are a ton of elementary school kids who know that their parent(s) don’t pay for their lunches how? Are the 6 year olds filling out the school lunch applications? If they are, is their immediate thought, “Ha Ha! There is such thing as a free lunch!”

I’m struggling understanding “the myth” that needs to “(get) out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch.” Probably because it doesn’t exist. I would assume that if you ask kids at school who pays for their lunch you would get 90% or better of either ‘the school’ or ‘my parent(s)’.

I’m doubling down on my comment yesterday that this is dumb.

2g Strategies (@2gstrategies) December 20, 2013 at 9:37 am

From @peachpundit Kingston on CNN discussing kids and free lunches http://t.co/R9IBsKBPvG

South Fulton Guy December 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

David Perdue: Jack Kingston should ‘start sweeping the National Mall’ for his pension http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/political-insider/2013/dec/20/david-perdue-jack-kingston-should-start-sweeping-n/

“As a Party, we have to recognize that out-of-touch career politicians are not the best messengers for the conservative principles we believe in and practice in our everyday lives,” warned Perdue. “In the midst of a debt crisis, an Obamacare disaster, and a stagnant economy, the American people are listening for alternatives. We can’t afford to miss out on this critical opportunity by emphasizing the wrong priorities.”

Chris Huttman December 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Finally a voice for the many voiceless CEOs.

Rich January 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Breaking news. Poetic justice for Kingston: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/jack-kingston-free-lunch_n_4572915.html

How about a new headline, pundit?

Charlie January 10, 2014 at 6:26 pm

You’re just….how do they say it….”not bright”, correct?


Rich January 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Was so thrilled I missed it. I don’t live and breath this. Also the search didn’t return it. Must take a while to index.

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