Today’s political “what?” moment comes from the right yet again, but the goblet of gaffe has been passed from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to his VP running mate Paul Ryan, who had a rather curious spin on a classic aphorism yesterday.
We’ve heard it a thousand times: “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for life.” It’s a good line, and it’s one of those simple truths oft-quoted by the right, and relatively easy for everyone to understand. Unless Paul Ryan says it, apparently.
The GOP candidate was confronted by a voter at an event yesterday who is struggling and can’t afford to get off of public assistance. In response, Ryan said:
“The only thing that limits you is your God given talent and your own effort. We need to have that dynamic economy return. You do that by drawing the economy and giving people a hand up, not a hand out. Teach a man how to fish, he can feed himself for a life. Don’t simply feed fish.”
Al Sharpton quickly jumped on the flub, asking, “Don’t feed fish? What does that even mean?” on MSNBC’s Politics Nation.
It’s a curious statement anyway, notes Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog. In light of Ryan’s budget, which includes deep cuts to education and public assistance, “the Republican vision is one in which struggling folks wouldn’t get a fish, wouldn’t be taught to fish, the lake gets drained, and those affected would be told to ‘take personal responsibility and care for their lives.'”
Though it should be noted that left-leaning media frequently report on and condemn Ryan’s March budget to this day, it has since been revised in light of criticism. Is it any better? Decide for yourself. Read it here.
Still, Ryan’s “don’t feed fish” flub is pretty humorous. Watch!