Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was almost Governor of South Carolina when Gov. Mark Sanford disappeared for a week to go to Argentina to see his mistress. Thankfully, Bauer did not take the reins of the governorship at that time. I often wonder about Republican politicians who claim a monopoly on Christianity yet say and do the most un-Christian things:
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed,” Bauer said, as quoted at the South Carolina State. “You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”
That drew immediate condemnation from the head of South Carolina’s Democratic Party.
“Andre Bauer’s crude utterances once again reveal his immaturity and poor judgment,” said Carol Fowler, according to WIS-TV in Columbia. “Bauer is a bachelor who has never once had to worry about feeding a child of his own. His notion of punishing children by not feeding them because their parents missed a PTA meeting flies in the face of basic South Carolina values.”
Bauer told CNN Monday that he regretted using the stray animals metaphor.
“I wish I had used a different metaphor,” Bauer said. “I never intended to tie people to animals.”
But then the lieutenant-governor made another animal comparison. “If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?” he asked, adding that he is “not against animals.”
Bauer has repeatedly returned to the animal metaphor in his defense of Friday’s remarks. At a gubernatorial forum on Saturday, he denied he was making the link at all.
“There’s no way that I was trying to tie animals to people,” he said. “What I was trying to talk about is the dependency culture, and just like when you feed an animal, you create a dependency.”
Here’s the audio: