Must-see morning clip: "People on food assistance have empty souls"

Jon Stewart sounds off on Paul Ryan, who argued against food assistance programs at CPAC

By Prachi Gupta
March 11, 2014 5:24PM (UTC)
main article image

Between the corny jokes, the ’80s rock music, and the fear-mongering and gun-toting wax statute known as Wayne LaPierre, the GOP's CPAC gave "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart plenty of material to mock. One of his favorite subjects, however, was Rep. Paul Ryan, who misrepresented a story about a boy who asked for his lunch in a brown paper bag when arguing against food assistance programs.

Ryan said:


"The left is making a big mistake here. What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul. The American people want more than that. This reminds me of a story I heard from Eloise Anderson. She serves in the cabinet of my buddy, Governor Scott Walker. She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.”

"Paul Ryan just told a powerful story about a woman who met a boy who doesn't want food assistance, but some sort of state or local-based soul program," summarized Stewart, before sounding off on him:

"And even though the woman in that story never actually met that boy because she took the actual story from a book, and even though the actual boy in the story Paul Ryan was telling was not complaining about getting food assistance, but asking that when he got food assistance, could he get that food assistance in a brown paper bag because it could help him avoid the stigma of getting food assistance, and even though that actual boy, who is now an adult and the author of that story, regularly makes public appearances to advocate for free school lunches -- point taken. Point Taken."

"People on food assistance have empty souls," concluded Stewart. "As Jesus once said, 'If you give a man a fish, don't.' Period. End of Bible."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

MORE FROM Prachi GuptaFOLLOW prachiguLIKE Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Cpac 2014 Daily Show Food Assistance Gop Must See Morning Clip Paul Ryan Video