Kentucky Governor Says We Are ‘Getting Soft’ For Closing Schools Amid Midwest Polar Vortex

"I mean, what happens to America?" he said. "We're getting soft."

Gov. Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) speaks at the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Convention at the Kentucky Exposition Center on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

"I mean, what happens to America?" he said. "We're getting soft."

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin called out all of the “snowflakes” in the midwest for closing school as record-breaking temperatures plague the region. On a radio show in Louisville, the Republican said that he is concerned that young people won’t learn that life is hard if we allow them to hide out in a warm place while the polar vortex plunges temps into arctic range.

Bevin told 840 WHAS that despite the fact that some areas of the midwest feel like minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit this week, America is getting too soft.

“I mean, what happens to America?” he said. “We’re getting soft.”

The show’s host Terry Meiners challenged Bevin, saying that this type of freezing weather is “serious.” Bevin dismissed the idea, saying “come on, now.”

“There’s no ice going with it, or any snow,” he said.

Later, he said that he was being partially facetious, but he then reiterated his feelings.

“But it does concern me a little bit that in America — on this and any number of other fronts — we’re sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard,” he said.

Bevin added that he did believe in erring on the side of caution, however.

The intense cold has claimed at least seven lives so far, and many people have struck back at Bevin, saying that many students can’t afford clothing that can withstand arctic temperatures. Others challenged the Republican to stand outside for 30 minutes without the proper clothing.

Al Roker called the Kentucky governor a “nitwit” for his comments.

In response to Bevin’s comments, a teacher’s union called the Kentucky Education Association said that they would support any decision that takes into account the health and safety of school children.

It’s not the first time the governor has angered teachers. Last year, he claimed that educators left kids vulnerable to drug abuse and sexual assault when teachers went on strike over pay and working conditions. He said that he believed at least one child had been assaulted because there was no one at home to watch them as parents left their children at home to go to work. He later apologized for his comments.

So far, the extreme weather conditions have forced the postal service to stop service in many areas out of concern for carrier health and safety, and over a thousand flights were canceled in Illinois as weathers dipped into record-breaking negatives.