Newt Gingrich Clarifies Child Labor Comments

Republican presidential candidate explains why he thinks poor kids should work.
5:17 | 12/01/11

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Transcript for Newt Gingrich Clarifies Child Labor Comments
-- couple weeks ago he spoke Harvard's Kennedy school of government and you were quoted by some. As seen you called. Countless stupid and that you would like to see -- -- terminated. -- actual students working in their schools to. To both save money -- A sense of well -- and ownership of schools have just -- -- keep it at -- by those statements -- the I was I really appreciate arrangement is that there's a good example of how hard it is to take the world the works. And bring it over the world affairs. Start with a phone following two facts. Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods. Have no habits of working. And have nobody around them who works. So we literally have they have no habit of showing up on Monday. -- -- habit of staying all day. -- -- -- I do this and you give me cash. Unless it's illegal. Second. Every first generation successful person China started work -- How many -- you either did babysitting or cut grass or shovel snow or did something. By the time you're twelve or thirteen -- and if you earn some cash. Mike Mike my granddaughter Maggie is now twelve. -- emailed me today. And she said I'm emailing you -- my new -- And I am now back and I -- how did you get -- -- And she said for the last eight months I have saved all of my money. I was pretty proud of her. So I start with a following problems in position to watch out spun out of control on the left of it. I was fascinated. To visit the college of the -- office. Which is a work study college I'm gonna try to get every state in two to have one. And it's the fifth most selective school -- And right -- in the universe. You cannot apply unless she needs to -- They have mostly made. If you go there. You work fifteen hours a week during the school year and 240 heroines that pays for tuition and books. You work forty hours a week in the summer that -- room and board 92%. Of the students graduates -- zero. 8% of students graduate -- an average of 5000 dollars because -- a lot of car their senior year. Now. I was fascinated that the students all work. So most of the -- -- students. Most of the grounds keepers are students. It's very inexpensive. And so I come around this question. Give a very poor neighborhood. If kids who are required under -- to go to school they have no money they have -- -- work. What if you paid them part time in the afternoon. To sit at the clerical office and greet people -- came. What you pay them to work as the assistant library. What it and and and I pay them as early as is reasonable and practical. There what if you -- and in this billion an degenerate -- I get these these letters written essay. Janitorial work is really hard and really dangerous and is this that they are fine so what if he became assistant janitors. And their job was to mop the floor. And swinging the bats were. And you paid him. And all of a sudden and their neighbor I did this I earn money we we about a program called earning by learning 1000 in congress and I got to make speeches -- money. And we take kids in the summertime and public housing in Georgia two dollars a book for every book they read. And in Douglas County -- -- -- public housing project we started with nine kids who by the way assumed -- -- them. We had to pay them every every week because they assumed we'd like to. -- -- -- -- So we -- -- By the end of the summer. We -- over thirty students in the program because what happened was simple desk and truck comes by. The kid is in the program walks up advise -- on ice cream. Their friends -- so how come your money. They realize -- And so -- Musharraf saying I demand the -- let me read. You can't keep me from this program. So I was saying. And one of my great passions -- -- closes -- don't understand how how deeply impressed means. If we are all endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness. That has to apply to the poorest American in the poorest neighborhood in this country. And I am prepared to find something that works that breaks us out of the cycles were involved in right now. And finding -- way for poor children to learn how to work and to learn how to money that they earned honestly is an integral part of that. How we get it to work out -- a lot of details but the general principle I believe is exactly the right direction -- his future.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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