Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant: Education problems began when moms joined workforce (VIDEO)


Virginia Gov. Bob McDonald (L) and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant leave the White House after a meeting of the National Governors Association with President Barack Obama February 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.


Chip Somodevilla

Republican Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, when asked how US education became "so mediocre," said part of the issue was both parents in the workforce.

Bryant, who spoke as part of a Washington Post Live panel on early childhood reading, then caught national attention with this comment: "I think both parents started working. And the mom is in the work place."

The governor quickly qualified his remarks, saying that in modern working culture “both parents are so pressured," calling the large numbers of women joining the workforce a "great American story." Bryant also noted the lack of investment in US schools had adversely affected educational outcomes. 

Bryant's remark follows Erick Erickson's controversial statement, in which the conservative commentator said, “kids most likely will do best in households where they have a mom at home nurturing them while dad is out bringing home the bacon.” His statement followed a recent Pew Research Center study that said mothers are the sole or primary provider in 40 percent of US homes with children. 

Watch the video of Bryant's remarks: