When last we heard from Nebraska Attorney General Job Bruning (R), who is running for Senate, he was walking back comparisons he made between poor people on welfare and raccoons scavenging for insects. But he went on to blame “the liberal intelligentsia” for the controversy and defend the basic point.
In a radio interview last month with local station KLIN, audio of which was posted Thursday by Democratic Super PAC American Bridge, Bruning said that he understands the struggles of the poor, but that his raccoon metaphor still holds up.
“I’ve done construction, I mowed lawns, you know, nothing was given to me, I think I’ve got standing to talk about people that are in a tough spot in society and I believe in a safety net for them,” he said. “But in this country we’ve now get a five year safety net with some welfare claims, we’ve got 96 weeks of unemployment in some cases. It’s really difficult, I think, when we’ve created a culture when everyone expects a handout from the government. And my point that I was trying to make, you know, using the beetles and the raccoons eating the beetles and that whole thing, is that, you know, we’ve created a culture now where welfare and government grants are almost expected and it’s just a game. Let’s see how much we can get out of the government.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.