Now to a political fire storm from the governor of mississippi today who said he thinks american kids are struggling in the classroom in part because moms have entered the workplace. Cue the arguments... See More
Now to a political fire storm from the governor of mississippi today who said he thinks american kids are struggling in the classroom in part because moms have entered the workplace. Cue the arguments and the facts from abc's linsey davis. Even before the governor of mississippi answered the question, he knew what he was about to say was controversial. I'm going to get in trouble, but you want me to tell the truth. Reporter: Government bryant of the participating in an event about ensuring that children read well by the end of third grade when they're all hit by this question. How did america get so mediocre? Reporter: The question was aimed at educational statistics. Specifically reading. I think parents -- both parents started working and the mom is in the workplace. It's not a bad thing. I'm going to get in trouble. I can see the e-mails tomorrow. Reporter: Critics didn't wait until tomorrow. The stats don't back him up, and it's kind of offensive just to put it on the backs of working parents. Reporter: While some find his answer offensive, we nted to know if there was any truth to it. In this country, 67% of mothers with children under 15 have a job outside the home. But get this, in finland, where 77% of women work outside the home, they're actually ahead of the u.S. In reading. No, no, no. But I think there's a loving, nurturing opportunity, that both parents had a little bit of time. In today's society, parents are so challenged. Reporter: Ironically, it's a challenge bryant knows well. His wife has worked outside the home for more than 38 years, including while their two children were g up. Linsey davis, abc news, new york.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.