Huffpost Politics

Newt Gingrich Stands By Plan To Have Poor Students Work As Janitors

Posted: Updated:

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich defended on Thursday his controversial plan to have schoolchildren from poor neighborhoods serve as janitors.

"A very poor neighborhood. You have kids that who are under law required to go to school. They have no money. They have no habit of work. What if you paid them part-time in the afternoon to sit in the clerical office, and greet people when they came in?" he said. "What if you paid them to work as an assistant librarian?"

He then discussed his proposal for having poor students serve as janitors. "Let me get down to the janitor thing, and these letters are written that janitorial work is really hard and really dangerous and this and that," he said. "Fine. So what if they became assistant janitors and their job was to mop the floor and clean the bathroom. And you pay them."

Gingrich went on to compare his plan to a project paying children to read books in Georgia.

(Video above via ThinkProgress.)

Last month, at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Gingrich called child labor laws "stupid." "Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school," he said. He repeated the idea on the campaign trail, saying it would be "dramatically less expensive."'

Gingrich said Thursday that his previous comments were "spun out of control" by "the left."

Janitorial work is hardly easy -- the Labor Department notes that janitors may "spend most of their time on their feet, sometimes lifting or pushing heavy furniture or equipment. Many tasks, such as dusting or sweeping, require constant bending, stooping, and stretching."

Around the Web

New Ron Paul ad: Newt Gingrich is a 'serial hypocrite' (VIDEO)

Newt Gingrich to meet with Donald Trump

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results