John Johnston, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Chuck Moseley, said he was speaking hyperbolically when he posted an anti-poor screed on a local political Facebook page.
"For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts," Johnston ranted. "They have been 'enabled' so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager."
"What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less. No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade."
When contacted by local paper the Post-Tribune, Johnston attempted to clarify his comment saying "I was not trying to hurt anybody's feelings."
"I saw the opportunity to say something. I think a lot of the poor have no way out, and there's no motivation to improve your position. It's like training a child, either you enable them or force them out at some point."