RACINE, Wisconsin — Who better to react to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) recent comments blaming poverty on “inner city” men who don’t have “the culture of work” than his own constituents who live in the inner city?
ThinkProgress spoke with voters in Racine, a relatively impoverished city in Ryan’s district, on Tuesday about the congressman’s assertion.
“He’s out of touch with reality,” said Ricky McMorris, who noted that he was laid off when a company shipped its operations overseas. He said that he’s been hustling every day to find a job. Ann Sevino said Ryan’s comments were “very inappropriate” and “racially motivated.” Similarly, Eric Dunnegan called Ryan’s comments “stereotypical and judgmental.”
Watch highlights from their interviews:
Ryan initially defended his comments, which were first reported by ThinkProgress, saying they had “nothing to do with race whatsoever.” However, after criticism from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Ryan backpedaled, though he notably stopped short of apologizing.