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Newt Takes on Race in Latest Tussle with Debate Moderator Newt Takes on Race in Latest Tussle with Debate Moderator

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Newt Takes on Race in Latest Tussle with Debate Moderator

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listens at the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

January 16, 2012

The audience in the South Carolina debate hall tonight was definitely on Newt Gingrich's side when he was challenged about racially changed comments he's made on the campaign trail. Since this is television, it's noteworthy that the question came from a black moderator, Juan Williams of FOX News.

Williams: "Speaker Gingrich, you said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can't you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?"

Gingrich: "No.''

The former House Speaker loves the one-word retort. He went on to say that his adult daughter learned about the value of work and money when she did "janitorial work" at her church when she was 13 years old. Of his proposal to have child janitors, he said, "They would be getting money, which is a good thing if you're poor. Only the elite despise earning money.''

Williams wouldn't let it go and made it personal, telling Gingrich that he had been "inundated'' with complaints from people of all races about his remarks. The audience booed Williams and cheered heartily for Gingrich, who scoffed, "I know among the politically correct you are not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.''

Gingrich is on much more solid footing taking on the elites and the politically correct than he is taking on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital.

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