She later tweeted an apology for her comments and had the video removed, but the clip, embedded below, is preserved in the fossil record.
First elected in 2010, Franson supports reducing the amount of time Minnesotans can stay on welfare from five to three years. In another part of the now-taken-down video, Franson says: "I believe that we can get Minnesota's poorest of the poor back up on their feet and moving toward a prosperous future."
[jump] Here's how Franson made the comparison between Minnesota's poor and wild animals:
I'll read you this little funny clip that we got from a friend. It says, 'Isn't it ironic that the food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps, ever.As you'd imagine, the liberal blogosphere and Twitter-sphere wasted no time condemning Franson's comments. Noting that the video was posted on House Republican's YouTube channel, Eric Austin, blogger for Outstate Politics, wrote: "Is this the message Minnesota Republicans would like to send to people in the state, that poor people are the same as animals?"
Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.'
As criticism mounted, Franson, at first, was defiant. She tweeted that "The goal should be to get people OFF WELFARE instead #DFL brag about how many are on and needing to outreach for more."
She must've decided shortly thereafter, however, that the food stamp recipient-wild animal comparison went a little too far:
For those offended at the video, I deeply apologize. I have asked for the video to be taken down. cc @e_austin
Says the petition's website: "These sorts of outrageous and mean-spirited comments have no business being spoken by an elected official in Minnesota."
In a statement, Carrie Lucking, executive director of the Alliance, said "no human, no Minnesotan, should be called a wild animal -- no matter their economic circumstances."
Without further ado, here's the clip Mary Franson no longer wants you to see: