Trump supporter Wayne Allyn Root said in a radio interview Tuesday that those who receive federal benefits like Medicaid and food stamps, as well as women who use “free contraception” under the Affordable Care Act, should have their voting rights revoked.
Root’s suggestion that voting rights be taken away from those who receive federal benefits or “free contraception” seems to be an attempt at pandering to the middle class, something Trump has been doing throughout his entire campaign. According to Root, the middle class is “basically paying, paying, paying” while “the poor get everything free.”
If Root’s suggestion were to be implemented, a huge chunk of American voters would be banned from the polls. FiveThirtyEight reveals that approximately one in five Americans benefit from the federal assistance Root describes, and ThinkProgress reports that 67 percent of women use copay-free contraception through the Affordable Care Act. Planned Parenthood has made it clear, though, that this contraception is not paid for by the federal government, as Root claims. Rather, it is paid for by insurance companies.
The former Libertarian vice presidential nominee also claimed that the 2012 election would have been “a Republican sweep,” if it had been open exclusively to “taxpayers.” He went on to say that those who collect welfare have a “conflict of interest.”
‘People with conflict of interest shouldn’t be allowed to vote. If you collect welfare, you have no right to vote. The day you get off welfare, you get your voting rights back. The reality is, why are you allowed to have this conflict of interest that you vote for the politician who wants to keep your welfare checks coming and your food stamps and your aid to dependent children and your free health care and your Medicaid, your Medicare, and your Social Security and everything else?’
When pressed, Root did go back on his original statement to say that someone shouldn’t be disqualified from voting if they receive Social Security or Medicare. His reasoning is that, if someone receives those benefits, they have “paid into the system.” He stuck by disqualifying those who receive “other goodies,” however.
The “other goodies” to which Root was referring included “free contraception” — which we already know is not really free — and “free Obama phones.”
In addition to trying to gather support for Donald Trump, who is about five points behind Hillary Clinton in the polls, Root is currently promoting his new book, Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America—and What We Can All Do to Save the Middle Class. Listen to a portion of his interview below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch via SoundCloud.