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What do the GOP candidates have to say on poverty in America?

BY   January 17, 2016 at 6:54 PM EDT
(L-R) U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S.Senator Tim Scott share the stage with U.S. Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson and Governor Chris Christie during the 2016 Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity in Columbia, South Carolina, January 9, 2016. The forum featured six presidential candidates and focused on their ideas for fighting poverty and expanding opportunity in America.  REUTERS/Randall Hill - RTX21NWF

(L-R) U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S.Senator Tim Scott share the stage with U.S. Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson and Governor Chris Christie during the 2016 Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity in Columbia, South Carolina, January 9, 2016. Photo by Randall Hill/Reuters.

Six Republican presidential candidates met in Columbia, S.C. recently to discuss poverty in America.

The forum was moderated by Sen. Tim Scott and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has sought to make combating poverty a priority for his party.

The candidates conversed at length in small groups, often echoing each other’s calls to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, move anti-poverty programs from the federal government to the states, and incentivize work and marriage.

Several candidates stressed their own upbringings, including Marco Rubio, the son of a bartender and a maid, and Ben Carson, who grew up in a poor neighborhood in inner-city Detroit.

“Some people hate rats, some hate roaches, I hated poverty,” Carson said.

For more perspective on the GOP candidates’ ideas and proposals for taking on poverty, NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan spoke to conservative commentator Reihan Salam, executive editor of National Review:

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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.

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