Donald Trump may not have officially endorsed Newt Gingrich's presidential bid, but the billionaire businessman gave his hat tip of approval to Gingrich's plan to put poor schoolchildren to work.
Gingrich, who found himself in hot water last month for saying America's child labor laws are "truly stupid," called on Trump to create an "Apprentice"-style program for 10 inner-city New York children to teach them "work ethic."
"We're going to be picking 10, young, wonderful children, and we're going to make them 'apprenti,'" Trump said after a high-profile meeting with Gingrich on Monday. "We're going to have a little fun with it, and I think it's going to be something that is really going to prove results. But it was Newt's idea, and I think it's a great idea."
While it is unclear if the program will run as a reality TV show, like Trump's NBC show "The Apprentice," Gingrich said the program is intended to give students "an opportunity to earn money, and get them into a habit of showing up and realizing that hard work gets rewarded."
Gingrich, the current GOP front-runner, has been a target of fierce attacks from unions and liberal commentators after he said poor school districts should fire unionized janitors and replace them with schoolchildren.
"Young children who are poor ought to learn how to go to work," he said, defending his stance in an interview with ABC's Jake Tapper last week. "What I've said is, for example, it would be great if inner city schools and poor neighborhood schools actually hired the children to do things. Some of the things they could do is work in the library, work in the front office. Some of them frankly, could be janitorial."
Gingrich was the latest GOP presidential candidate to meet with Trump in hope of winning his highly-coveted endorsement. Trump said he will not make an endorsement until after December 27, when he plans to moderate a Republican debate hosted by Newsmax.
So far Gingrich is the only candidate who has agreed to attend the Trump-moderated debate. Both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have said they will not attend.