Jeb: I’ll Attract Black Voters With ‘Uplifting’ Message, Not ‘Free Stuff’ (VIDEO)

This post has been updated.

During a campaign event in South Carolina on Thursday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said that he would win over black voters with a hopeful message, not “free stuff,” according to the Washington Post.

An audience member at the East Cooper Republican Women’s Club annual Shrimp Dinner asked Bush about black voters, “How are you going to include them and get them to vote for you?”

Bush mentioned his work with school choice as governor, and then said that Republicans need to attract more black voters in Virginia and Ohio.

“Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” he said, according to the Washington Post. “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.”

The Post noted that Bush’s comments were similar to remarks made by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. After being booed at an NAACP event, Romney said that people who want “free stuff” shouldn’t vote for him.

“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,” he said at a fundraiser in July 2012.

While speaking in South Carolina, Bush also defended his recent comment that the U.S. “should not have a multicultural society.”

“We’re pluralistic,” Bush said on Thursday. “We’re not multicultural. We have a set of shared values that defines our national identity. And we should never veer away from that.”

Bush’s campaign issued a statement on Friday addressing his Thursday evening remarks.

“The Democrats are creating attacks where they don’t exist because they know their policies have failed the tens of millions stuck in poverty and they fear Jeb’s positive message of expanding opportunity for everyone,” Bush spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said.

Watch a video of Bush’s comments:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: