CNN reported Friday that GOP Representative Jason Lewis referred to welfare recipients as “parasites” and “scoundrels” on his old radio show.
CNN’s KFile obtained audio recordings from “The Jason Lewis Show” in 2012, in which Lewis speculated over why President Barack Obama was leading in the polls the September before the election.
According to the audio file, Lewis said, “When you and I see the welfare state in all of its wonderful manifestations and yet he’s still leading in Ohio, he’s still leading in Florida. How is this possible? It is possible because the Democratic dream come true is this: The parasites outnumber the producers. Then, when the parasites outnumber the producers, the party of parasites will give the majority of votes.”
Lewis, who was elected representative of the 2nd District of Minnesota in 2016, has had many snippets of his old radio show commentary resurface in recent weeks. In light of these resurfaced comments, his spokesperson, Becky Alery, urged constituents not to focus on the past.
Lewis went on to defend Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney by asserting that voters were only partial to the former President because they were dependent on government assistance.
“The government class,” Lewis continued, “are selling out the country. They are unpatriotic, they’re scoundrels, they are selling out my generation and your generation and your children’s generation, so they can get their benefits today.”
Lewis expressed more racially charged comments about the welfare system and government assistance in another episode in April of that year, claiming that black and hispanic people “substituted one plantation for another.”
Lewis also condemned the Americans with Disabilities Act during a September 2012 broadcast, asserting that it was the new Jim Crow. Lewis said, “Now the government determines who you shall hire, who you should work next to, and when you’re going to be thrown in jail or fined civilly for refusing to employ or serve or do whatever the government says you ought to do.”
“The irony of this is,” Lewis continued, “the last time we tried this was during Jim Crow when the government used to mandate segregation.”
In addition to claiming that the ADA was unfair and has unleveled the playing field, Lewis insisted that the 1990 law is somehow responsible for the recent increase in mass shootings.
On Thursday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan claimed that while he does not agree with Lewis’ previous comments, he does not want or expect him to apologize.