Facing a firestorm of criticism, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis said Wednesday he may have made a "poor choice of words" when he suggested the state "find a way to divide and conquer" people on public assistance.
However, he stuck by other remarks that the state might consider drug-testing recipients of welfare and other public money, and even some state employees.
The Cornelius, N.C., Republican made the comments late last week in response to questions at a town meeting in Madison County. Tight budgets, he said, force tough choices.
He compared public assistance for "a woman in a wheelchair" to that for a mother with children out of wedlock.