(KMOV.com) -- A state lawmaker has come under fire after some took his comments as comparing Missouri’s poor to animals in an interview with KMOX Radio.
”There’s a sign that says please don’t feed the animals,” Rep. Paul Fitzwater, a Republican from Potosi, told the radio station. “There’s a reason. They keep coming back.”
Fitzwater used the analogy during a discussion on whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect in January of 2014.
News 4 went to Potosi to talk with Fitzwater, but he declined to go on camera.
Some residents said they were not offended by the quote, but thought Fitzwater could have used better wording.
”I don’t think the poor are animals, but I think he was saying the poor need to help themselves too,” said Potosi resident Vicki Brand.
Fitzwater later agreed to speak to a reporter on the phone, and admitted to using a poor analogy.
”The example I was using is, if we continue to hand out funds and give people everything in society, they will continue to depend upon it,” said Fitzwater. “And I didn’t mean nothing by that, and I think you’re just taking it out of context.”