As Rick Santorum has risen in the Iowa polls, the media and voters have been anxious to see how he responds to increased pressure and exposure. Given his two terms in the Senate and generally strong debate performances, it remains to be seen if he handles the spotlight without as many gaffes as the previous temporary frontrunners. However, CBS News recorded a particularly noxious statement by Santorum:
I was in Indianola a few months ago and I was talking to someone who works in the department of public welfare here, and she told me that the state of Iowa is going to get fined if they don’t sign up more people under the Medicaid program. 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 what the bottom line is.
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.
However, the context makes the supposed statement basically nonsensical, and the video itself is rather unclear:
It does sound like Santorum almost said “black people’s lives,” but he also may have been stumbling forward in his words, saying, “I don’t want to make . . . mmblgh . . . people’s lives better.” In context, “black” makes almost no sense — Santorum is saying that some would like to see Iowans, and those in his audience specifically, on the dole — both of those groups are, obviously, predominantly white.
H/t to Mediaite.