Jeb Bush Says He’ll Offer Black Voters More Than Just ‘Free Stuff’

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Echoing Romney, Jeb reflects on black voters, ‘free stuff’.

Jeb Bush plans to appeal to black voters through “hope and aspiration,” rather than giving out “free stuff,” echoing previous controversial statements made by Mitt Romney during his bid for the White House three years ago.

In the wake of Pope Francis’ reminder Thursday to “keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty,” Jeb Bush traveled to South Carolina for a campaign event.The controversial comment came after the presidential hopeful was asked how he and the GOP could earn a more substantial share of the black vote during an event in South Carolina on Thursday night, the Washington Post reported. “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff.GOP candidates are still having trouble broadening their appeal beyond white voters, despite the fact that African Americans increasingly agree with the Republican Party’s economic agenda. After an unfriendly welcome at an NAACP convention, Romney told a group of donors, “I hope people understand this, 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.” Five months later, after he lost, Romney told donors President Obama won re-election because he bribed minority voters with “big gifts” – such as health care and education.

Fewer than a third of African Americans now believe that the government should do everything possible to improve the standard of living for the poor, compared to a majority half a century ago. The African-American community disproportionally votes Democratic, which Bush acknowledged as an issue Thursday night. “Republicans get 4 percent to 7 percent maybe of the African American vote for president,” said Bush last night. “Those are kind of the numbers that I hear about.” The GOP has been aware of these numbers for years as well. It quickly became obvious to Republican officials that Romney’s message, even if they agreed with the substance, was tone-deaf and counter-productive.

In particular, Bush has been trying to win more of the Latino vote by touting his credentials of having a Mexican-born wife and conducting interviews and answering questions in Spanish, which he speaks fluently. The former Florida governor is scheduled to visit the Canonsburg headquarters of Rice Energy on Tuesday afternoon, when he’ll discuss his energy policy, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

In a blunt 2012 report examining the issues facing their party, Republicans acknowledged that the party needed to better connect with black and Latino voters if they wanted to stay relevant in future elections. During his time as governor of Florida, Bush faced criticism from black residents for actions like ending affirmative action for the state’s universities and enacting voter purges in 1999 that incorrectly took away the right to vote of many eligible black voters, the Miami Herald reported.

Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.” Mr Bush was speaking during the East Cooper Republican Women’s Club annual shrimp dinner. Bush, and his choice of site likely offers a clue about his priorities: Rice drills for oil and natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, drew criticism when he likewise accused President Obama of offering voters “free stuff” during his unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2012.

If I’m reading Bush’s Thursday night comment correctly, all black people receive government assistance (and possibly untold other free things, who knows?) and are unaware that it’s possible to “achieve earned success.” Of course I hope Bush lets white people in on the benefits of no free stuff, considering a majority of the those who participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are white. Michael Taylor, a Democratic National Committee official, issued a statement in response to Bush’s remarks. “Bush’s comments reflect a Republican Party that, while touting policies that benefit a select few at the very top, is falling over itself to alienate more and more Americans every single day,” the statement read. “It’s an odd electoral strategy.” Bush’s liberal opponents who object to the former governor’s comments might point to an expanding body of research that suggests simply writing checks to poor families is an effective way to improve their children’s well-being, along with their chances of eventually escaping the rough neighborhoods where they were raised. Bush’s attempt to explain how he would bring more black faces to an event like that instead serves as a vivid demonstration of why so few if any were there in the first place. 3.) In his remarks, Bush showed a clear disdain for trying to buy votes with “free stuff,” a stance that might be admirable if it were consistent. In examining the data, Yale University’s Vivekinan Ashok and Ebonya Washington and Columbia University’s Ilyana Kuziemko found that the shift was equally pronounced among the affluent and the poor.

According to the independent Tax Foundation, Bush’s tax plan would boost the after-tax income of the bottom 30 percent of earners by anywhere from 1 percent to 1.8 percent! (The after-tax income of the top 1 percent of earners would jump 11.6 percent, but don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll use some of that money to give the bottom 30 percent free stuff.) A: It’s a little grating, not to mention redundant. In just the last few weeks we’ve witnessed Republican presidential candidates insult African Americans, Muslims, Hispanics, Asian Americans and women.

In other words, the guy was born on third base, but is certain he hit a triple, believes he can connect with minority communities – by dismissing and deriding social-insurance programs as “free stuff.” Second Update: I spoke this afternoon with a Bush campaign spokesperson, who provided the transcript for the candidate’s comments: “As it relates to African Americans, look think about it this way. The Post’s Phillip Bump would later debunk the speech, stating it’s “off-the-mark” as whites receive more food stamps than blacks and that “black support for Democrats has coincided with civil rights actions” in the states.

Taxpayers making more than $10 million a year and in the top 0.01 percent — basically, those funding Bush’s campaign and writing seven-figure checks to his $100 million SuperPAC — would enjoy an average annual tax cut of $1.5 million a year thanks to his proposal. And according to an analysis by data crunchers at the New York Times, “taxpayers earning over $10 million would experience a 6.8 percent rise in their after-tax incomes on average under the Bush plan.” (That doesn’t include the impact of significant cuts in corporate taxes, most of which would also accrue to the wealthy.)** So, an additional $1.5 million in annual after-tax income for the wealthy.

These days, black voters might be turned off from Republicans by their strident opposition to President Obama, by Republicans’ support for voter identification laws that some black voters feel are intended to disenfranchise them, or by comments such as Bush’s that imply that recipients of public assistance lack ambition. All the same, declining support for policies to help the poor is a serious challenge to liberal politicians, who are failing to make a case for their proposals that’s convincing to the people who have the most to gain from them.

Got it? ** And just as a reminder, Bush’s own campaign acknowledges that his tax proposal would increase the federal deficit by a minimum of $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, and by as much as $3.4 trillion, on top of deficits already projected.

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