Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin issued a statement Thursday saying he was inarticulate when he said that there is a "tailspin of culture, in our inner cities," after the comments were decried as racist.
"After reading the transcript of yesterday morning's interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make," Ryan said about his interview on Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio program, NBC News
"I was not implicating the culture of one community — but of society as a whole," Ryan said in the statement. "We have allowed our society to quarantine the poor rather than integrate people into our communities. The predictable result has been multi-generational poverty and little opportunity."
Ryan appeared on Bennett's radio program Wednesday
to discuss how he believes the "War on Poverty" has failed and his ideas for reform.
"We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work," Ryan told Bennett.
Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California said in a statement Wednesday that Ryan's comments were "a thinly veiled racist attack [that] cannot be tolerated."
"When Mr. Ryan says 'inner city,' when he says, 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black.'"
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