Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich debated the causes of poverty in America on Sunday, with each blaming the other's political party for the problem.
Appearing as a panelist on ABC's "This Week," Gingrich noted that the GOP should "rethink some of its indifference to the very poor." He also said Democrats should ask themselves after 50 years of the war on poverty if government isn't fixing the problem.
Panelist Reich countered that President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty was successful for a time.
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"What has happened, however, over the last 30 years is that much of the, much of the ardor, much of the concern, much of the, what propelled that war on poverty has dissipated," Reich said.
"I think it has something to do, perhaps, with the intransigence of the Speaker's party," Reich continued, "because every time there was a jobs bill, every time there was an effort to expand a low income housing, every time there was an effort to provide better opportunities for young people. We're talking about equal opportunity."
"This is baloney," Gingrich interrupted. "Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats. Every major city. Their policies have failed …"
Reich went on to note that long-time New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not a Democrat. (Bloomberg first served as a moderate Republican, but later became an independent.)
"Newt, I am surprised you are not taking responsibility here," Reich said.
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