DENVER, Colorado — Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) told ThinkProgress at Wednesday’s presidential debate that he doesn’t think much of a group of Catholic nuns who traveled across the country this year to highlight the plight of America’s poor and the impact that the House Republican budget would have on the neediest. Tipton said the nuns wanted “to try and divide” the country. He went on to say that they lacked “the understanding” of how to pay for government programs:
KEYES: What did you think about the nuns who are going out and barnstorming across the country, campaigning against the Ryan budget?
TIPTON: I think one of the important things is that we often get people that want to try and divide. No one, Republican or Democrat, wants to hurt any individual.
KEYES: Do you think they’re being divisive?
TIPTON: I think pointing to this without the understanding apparently that we’ve got to be able to pay for those different programs. So how can we best deliver them in the most efficient way? What’s the best way to really address needs and concerns that people have right now? Wouldn’t it be better to actually create an environment where they could get a job and provide for their families? That’s what we’re pushing hard on.
Listen to it:
SoundCloud WidgetEdit descriptionw.soundcloud.comSpecifically, the nuns were protesting the fact that the GOP budget would cut millions of low-income Americans off of food assistance and other programs. In all, nearly two-thirds of the budget’s cuts come from programs that help the poor, including Medicaid and Pell Grants.
If Tipton believes the nuns’ are being divisive by bringing attention to how the poor would fare under Ryan’s budget, he would also take issue with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who in April called the House GOP’s cuts to food stamps “unjustified and wrong.”