WASHINGTON - Former Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson told Jewish activists Monday that making money is "part of the Jewish tradition," and something that he applauded.
Speaking to an audience at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., Thompson said that, "I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money. You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."
Thompson later apologized for the comments that had caused a stir in the audience, saying that he had meant it as a compliment, and had only wanted to highlight the "accomplishments" of the Jewish religion.
I don't know if you remember Reggie White's speech to the Wisconsin Legislature:
White said the United States has gotten away from God, in part by allowing homosexuality to "run rampant."
HOMOSEXUALITY IS a sin, and the plight of gays and lesbians should not be compared to that of blacks, White told lawmakers.
"Homosexuality is a decision, it's not a race," White said. "People from all different ethnic backgrounds live in this lifestyle. But people from all different ethnic backgrounds also are liars and cheaters and malicious and back-stabbing." White said he has thought about why God created different races. Each race has certain gifts, he said.
Blacks are gifted at worship and celebration, White said. "If you go to a black church, you see people jumping up and down because they really get into it," he said.
Whites are good at organization, White said. "You guys do a good job of building businesses and things of that nature, and you know how to tap into money," he said.
"Hispanics were gifted in family structure, and you can see a Hispanic person, and they can put 20, 30 people in one home."
The Japanese and other Asians are inventive, and "can turn a television into a watch," White said. Indians are gifted in spirituality, he said.
"When you put all of that together, guess what it makes: It forms a complete image of God," White said. White said later that his comments were about coming together as a society and were not meant to stereotype the races. "This is the first time I've been at a loss for words," Assembly Minority Leader Walter Kunicki, D-Milwaukee, said after White's speech. "You can still tell from the tension in the room that much of this was offensive."