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GOP Rep: I became a congressman to stop women from getting welfare

The 50th anniversary of President Johnson's War on Poverty has highlighted the ignorance of many within the Republican party.

Rep. Louie Gohmert
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Whether it's members of the right-wing media or elected officials themselves, the Republican party and their conservative base find ways to demonize the less fortunate and place the blame at the doorstep of the government, in particular Democrats and policies that they have put into place. One of the most outspoken critics of Democrats and the War on Poverty has been Tea Party favorite, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Gohmert took to the House floor on Wednesday, claiming that the reason he became a congressman was to stop single mothers from receiving welfare.

“If it weren't for the policies in this War on Poverty declared 50 years ago, it may well be that I would not have ever run for Congress...Because what got me thinking about it first as a state district judge back in Texas was seeing more and more young women, single women coming before me — single moms — charged with welfare fraud.

One women had had 15 kids, didn't even know where they all were, that was the most that I ever dealt with. It began to really eat away with me that in the 60s the federal government, desiring to help poor moms who were dealing with deadbeat dads, decided, ‘We’ll help, we’ll give a check for every child you can have out of wedlock...The War on Poverty has been a disaster. Why do the children have to suffer for the ignorance and stupidity of the government and those who meant well but just did stupid things? It’s tragic.”

This isn't the first time that Gohmert has found himself in a controversial position. Gohmert once claimed the United States government was involved with the Muslim Brotherhood and blamed the movie theater shootings in Aurora, CO on the erosion of Judeo-Christian beliefs and values.