Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans

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Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, blasted Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday for comments he made about the work ethic of inner city men that many labeled as racist and out of touch.

“We need to really realize a lot of people don’t really get it. When you talk in the way he has talked, we have to remember that race is still a factor in America,” Mrs. Lee said on MSNBC.

Speaking about poverty in American on Wednesday, Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said there are generations of men — particularly in inner cities — that never learn the value of work, CNN reported. After the backlash, Mr. Ryan clarified his remarks, saying that he was speaking about the culture of society as a whole, not for a specific group of people.

“The broader point I was trying to make is that we cannot settle for this status quo and that government and families have to do more and rethink our approach to fighting poverty,” he said in a statement, CNN reported.

Mrs. Lee said that while a good paying job may be the way out of poverty, Mr. Ryan needs to support policies that create jobs and work to better understand the issues faced by urban Americans.

“We need a debate about poverty, not to blame those who don’t have opportunities,” she said.

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