GOP rep in 2012 said ‘parasites’ on welfare ‘substituted one plantation for another’: report

Greg Nash

GOP Rep. Jason Lewis (Minn.) blasted welfare recipients and made racially charged comments during his tenure as a conservative radio host, CNN reported Friday.

Discussing welfare on his show in 2012, Lewis said people on it “substituted one plantation for another” and referred to people on government assistance as “parasites,” according to audio obtained by CNN.

That same year, Lewis — who is listed as being in a “toss-up” race by Cook Political Report — attributed former President Obama’s lead over GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to people looking to take advantage of the social safety net.

“When the economy is flat on its back. When you and I see the welfare state in all of its wonderful manifestations and yet he’s still leading in Ohio, he’s still leading in Florida. How is this possible?” he said on “The Jason Lewis Show.”


The Minnesota Republican said the “socialist left” was trying to get “everybody on a government program.”

In separate episodes of the show — which ran from 2009 to 2014 — he slammed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

“It is hard to overestimate the damage — go back to Martin Luther King and the struggle for black equality — where blacks, in our sorry history, I mean, this really is a blemish on the American dream or the American experience — blacks fought so hard, indeed, and alongside a number of whites, thankfully, who fought so hard so blacks could take care of themselves and not be told what to do,” he said. “Now, you’ve got the modern welfare state that tells black folks and Hispanic folks and poor white folks: ‘Don’t worry. We’ll take care of you.’ What is the difference? You’ve substituted one plantation for another.”

The former “shock jock” previously defended his remarks lamenting not being able to refer to a woman as a “slut” and attacking female voters for leaning left during the 2012 election cycle.

“Does a woman now have the right to behave — and I know there’s a double standard between the way men chase women and running and running around — you know, I’m not going to get there, but you know what I’m talking about. But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?” he asked in 2012.

Lewis told WCCO’s “The Chad Hartman Show” during an interview earlier this month that he “was paid to be provocative” in his previous position.

“That’s what you’re supposed to do on talk radio. And if you’re provocative when you do it, well, that’s part of our job. I presume, you know, the people that are running with this story are looking for ratings as well,” he said. “So, it’s kind of sad that it’s come back to this, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

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