John Johnston, an Indiana GOP candidate running for the House of Representatives, is defending controversial comments on poverty he made via Facebook.

“For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts,” stated Johnston on Facebook.  “No one has the guts to just let [poor people] wither and die.”

Johnston continues by calling out political candidates from both sides of the aisle on not calling a “spade a spade,” and “enabling” this type of behavior. “As long as the Dems can get their votes, the enabling will continue.  The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether.”

Some have called Johnston out on these comments saying he wants to end welfare and food stamp programs.  Johnston has replied to these accusations saying he does not believe a thoughtful society would let people go hungry, and he was simply speaking in hyperbole.  He also said he has no intention of ending these programs.

Later, Johnston commented on a Facebook post from Mad Mac, a Facebook group which satirizes and makes fun of politics in northern Indiana, saying, with regards to his earlier statements, “Able bodied people are trapped in poverty because they have nowhere, no idea, no hope of anything other than the subsistence life that the government gives them.”

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