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GOP House candidate defends 'wither and die' comment about poor

A Republican candidate is facing questions about a Facebook comment where, in a discussion about the poor, he stated, “No one has the guts to just let them wither and die.”

Valparaiso resident John Johnston, who is challenging State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-10th, said Tuesday that he was speaking in hyperbole, and he later clarified that no thoughtful society would let people go hungry.

“I was not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Johnston said. “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.”

The discussion thread appeared on the Mad Mac page, which pokes fun at Northwest Indiana politics.