During Monday night's GOP debate in Myrtle Beach, SC, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich once again spoke on his much-derided plan to put school children to work. Sometimes it isn't what you say but how you say it. So Gingrich was careful to couch his controversial plan in more acceptable phrasing.
Gingrich insists that black kids don't need handouts from President Obama -- they need jobs. Gingrich says schoolchildren should be given janitorial jobs because, in his opinion, janitors in the NYC public school system earn way too much money.
The average annual salary for a NYC public school janitor is $80,000, compared to a teacher who earns $45,000 annually.
According to the NY Daily News, Gingrich argued the best thing public schools could do for students - particularly black students - was to give them a broom.
"Can't you see that this is viewed at a minimum as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?" asked Fox News questioner Juan Williams, who is part Hispanic and black.
"No, I don't see that," Gingrich responded, with rousing applause from the majority white audience.
Gingrich countered that his own daughter's first job, at age 13, was janitorial work at the First Baptist Church in Carrollton, GA.
"New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union," Gingrich argued. "You could take one janitor and hire 30 some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out," he said. "They would actually have money in their pocket. They'd learn to show up for work."
On Jan. 21, voters in South Carolina will vote to pick their choice for the Republican presidential candidate. Recent polls in the South show Gingrich running second behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.