Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Mullins McLeod is holding a food drive for the Lowcountry Food Bank prior to tonight’s GOP debate. McLeod says the purpose of the food drive in part, is to continue to raise awareness of Lt. Governor Andre Bauer’s poor choice of words when he compared poor children benefitting from free or reduced school lunches to “stray animals.”
McLeod says that he is amazed at “how some Republican politicians claim to have a monopoly on religion and Christianity, and then they turn around and say and do the most unchristianable [sic] things imaginable.”
(Mullins McLeod MP3 4:02)
McLeod said, “When I first read the quote, I hoped that I had read it out of context, but I didn’t. People often say that a person’s eyes are the window to their soul. In this instance, I think what we’ve seen is that Lt. Governor’s mouth is the soul of Republican leadership in our state.”
When asked what he thought the Lt. Governor’s point was, McLeod responded, ” I think his point was trying to pander to people’s fears and prejudices. And I think he was trying to do that in an effort to garner votes. And this type of rhetoric and that type of politics should have been gone in South Carolina long, long ago.
“The reality of this is that we’re all in this together,” continued McLeod. “Regardless of socio-economic status, regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless whether you live in the Upstate , the Lowcountry or the Pee Dee, we don’t have the luxury in South Carolina to be divided on any issue,” he said.
Why a food drive before the GOP’s debate? “We’re doing it for two reasons. One is, on the short term, obviously, we believe that children need proper nourishment and proper food. Obviously food and nutrition is critical to education. And in the big picture it’s to raise awareness to what I’m talking about here today.
“This cycle that needs to be broken is the cycle that we’ve continued to have in South Carolina of Republican politicians, career politicians who’ll say and do anything to get re-elected. They’ll point out the problems, but they won’t do anything to fix the problem.
“The irony is not lost on the fact that we’ve had a Republican leadership who have led our state with the highest unemployment, with some of the worst public schools and some of the highest poverty rates in all of the country. And all the Republican leadership does is they point to the problem. And they create hate and discontent among our citizens, only in an effort for them to get re-elected and maintain the status quo. The status quo is the reason for the poverty.
“The patient’s dying while the doctors deliberate,” McLeod added.
The food drive to benefit needy children and families takes place 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Vickery’s Restaurant on Beaufain Street in Charleston.