Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush reportedly told a South Carolina crowd on Friday that gun control is not the answer to reducing gun deaths in the U.S. because “stuff happens.”
“I had this challenge as governor. Look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it’s necessarily the right thing to do,” Bush said, in response to a question about gun control.
The remark, first reported by The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, came amid renewed calls for greater restrictions on guns in the wake of a massacre at an Oregon community college that left 10 dead, including the gunman.
Bush doubled down on the remark after the event. In video posted online, Lizza asks the presidential candidate is the phrasing was a mistake.
“No, it wasn’t a mistake, I said exactly what I said. Explain to me what I said wrong,” a visibly frustrated Bush responded. “Things happen all the time. Things. Is that better?”
The remark was similar to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s response to the tragedy, who said “these things happen” when asked how to prevent future mass shootings.
In a Pew Research poll released Friday, Bush had tumbled to just 4 percent support.
Lizza also posted the full text of Bush’s remarks on Twitter:
Judge for yourself what Jeb was trying to say. Context is warning about passing gun laws in the wake of a tragedy. pic.twitter.com/0k8yxuEDF8
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 2, 2015
Watch Bush’s full answer below:
This story has been updated.