06.05.131:42 PM ET

Mississippi Gov. Blames Failures in Literacy on Working Mothers

“It’s not a bad thing—I don’t want to get in trouble.”

Watch out, working mothers: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is apparently not your biggest fan. During a recent Washington Post live panel  he blamed working mothers for failures in U.S. literacy rates. When asked about why America has become so mediocre in its reading-proficiency rates, Bryant said, “You want me to tell the truth? I think parents became—both parents started working and the mom is in the workplace." A little later on in his speech, Bryant tried to backtrack on his comments, but the firestorm had already ignited on the Internet. In possibly related news, ABC reports that the governor's wife, Debra, worked outside the home for several decades, including while their children were in school.