Miss. Governor Fights to Clarify Working Mom Comments

Gov. Phil Bryant briefly suggested having two working parents leads to mediocre children.
2:52 | 06/05/13

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Transcript for Miss. Governor Fights to Clarify Working Mom Comments
we'll start here, a prominent governor's comment about education and working moms sparking outrage. Phil bryant saying having both parents in the workplace may have led to mediocrity among american students. Abc's bianna golodryga, a working mom herself here with the story. You can see why this created a lot of controversy. It came during a panel discussion on childhood literacy and while governor bryant has been trying to clarify what he said, this morning many working moms both married and single are angry saying they often don't have a choice but to work. The interviewer from "the washington post" had barely finished her question when mississippi governor phil bryant jumped in. How did america get so mediocre -- you want me to tell the truth? I think parents became -- both parents started working and the mom is in the workplace. It's not a bad thing. I'm going to get this trouble and I can just see -- I can see the e-mails tomorrow. Reporter: Almost immediately bryant began backing off what he said. A great american story now that women are certainly in the workplace. So it's the mother's place to teach them to read. No, no, no but I think there was that loving, nurturing opportunity that both parents had a little bit of time. Reporter: The governor's office later issued a statement clarifying his comments saying his point was that many families don't have a lot of time because they are balancing both parents being in the workplace. But this morning many critics are pouncing saying the governor is wrong and that children with two working parents perform better in school today than children with stay-at-home moms did in the past. Working mothers produce well-balanced children and there is simply no data and study after study has proven that this is a false dichotomy. Reporter: Bryant's remarks come on the heels of other controversial remarks about working mothers. Two weeks ago paul tudor jones apologized for comments he made about why there are fewer female traders on wall street. As soon as that baby's lips touch that girl's bosom, forget it. Reporter: Mean time many are questioning the governor's motivation for making his comments especially since his wife debra worked outside the home for more than 38 years including while their two children were in school. And aside from not being exactly politically correct there is data arguing that's not accurate. For example, when it comes to reading the u.S. Is behind countries like russia and finlapd, however, 77% of mothers in finland work outside of the home compared to 67% of mothers with children under 18 in the u.S. So based on nothing. Yeah. Based on what he thinks. Should stay at home. Yeah.

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

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