"Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria -- and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money," Kingston said at a Jackson County Republican Party meeting, according to video surfaced by the Huffington Post. "But think what we would gain as a society in getting people -- getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch."
The congressman told CNN that his comments weren't a "policy statement," and complained about a lack of open discussion on the matter.
"This is not targeted to any one group," Kingston said. "It would be very helpful for kids in any socio-economic group to do chores and learn the work ethic. Those kids aren't there because of any fault of their own and I never suggested that they were."
"I never did say poor kids," he added.