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Jeb! Tells Black People: We Offer You Earned Success, Not Free Stuff

Isn't he sweet? Just like his mother.
Jeb! Tells Black People: We Offer You Earned Success, Not Free Stuff
Image from: Gage Skidmore

In her last column for Salon, Joan Walsh points out that Jeb Bush just channeled Mitt Romney at a South Carolina campaign stop:

So far, so good. Then Bush totally blew it. Turning back to the issue of black voters, he said:

Think about it this way, Republicans get 4-7 percent of the African-American vote…If you double that, you win elections in Ohio, Virginia. And we should make that case, because our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division, “get in line, we’ll take care of you with free stuff.” Our message is uplifting, that says, “You can achieve earned success. We’re on your side.”

“We’re on your side,” black voters, though we’re not sure you’ve really achieved “earned success.” You’ve been relying a little too much on “free stuff” from Democrats, but we’re here to change that. The level of condescension and negative stereotyping in Bush’s statement is stunning, but not surprising.

After all, Mitt Romney said essentially the same thing – directly to the NAACP, in July of 2012. “Your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this: If they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff. But don’t forget nothing is really free.”

Mr. 47 percent didn’t learn from the outrage over his remarks, either. In an election post-mortem, Romney blamed his loss on President Obama giving “gifts” to blacks, women and students in the electorate.

Bush was supposed to be the candidate who renounced that approach to blacks and Latinos. But he’s looking more like Romney all the time, with tone-deaf comments that betray his life of privilege.

Jeb! really is his momma's child, don't you think?


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