Jeb! Bush channels Romney on ‘free stuff’ to explain how he’ll win black voters

Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) addresses the National Review Institute's 2015 Ideas Summit in Washington, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX1B18W

Jeb! Bush channeled Mitt Romney Thursday night in response to a question about how he plans to “include” black voters and “get them to vote for you.” He could do it, he said (check out the video below the fold), because of his sterling record on school privatization and because:

“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” he said at the East Cooper Republican Women’s Club annual Shrimp Dinner. “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”

Yeah … I’m pretty sure that’s a message that will work better with white Republicans than with African-American members of any party. Not because black voters want to be promised “free stuff,” but because the implication is so insulting. Because the “free stuff” Bush is so

of is the most basic duty of a society toward its struggling members. Because Republicans like Bush keep incomes low and then make low-income people pay in shame for the help they need. Because there’s a little history here:


Back in 2012, Mitt Romney used the exact same words, saying “But 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.” And both times, it was about posturing for rich white people who want their racism comfortably veiled, pretending to have a message of uplift while really having a message of keeping people down not with policies that don’t look discriminatory on the face but are discriminatory in effect.

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