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“Free Stuff!”: Jeb’s Outreach To Black Voters; It Isn’t ‘We’ll Take Care Of You With Free Stuff’

Man, Republicans just can’t help themselves, can they? Here’s Jebbie in South Carolina talking about reaching out to African-American voters, per a report from WaPo’s Sean Sullivan:

“Look around this room,” a man told Bush, who spoke to a mostly white crowd. “How many black faces do you see? How are you going to include them and get them to vote for you?” asked the man, who was white.

Bush pointed to his record on school choice and said that if Republicans could double their share of the black vote, they would win the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.

And if they had some ham, they could make a ham sandwich, if they had some bread. But I digress.

“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.”

The “free stuff” reference sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

According to a pool report, [Mitt] Romney, who struggled badly with minority voters in the 2012 election, said during a Montana fundraiser that year: “I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine. 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.” Romney was explaining his remarks that day at the NAACP’s national convention, where he was booed.

Now in commenting on this latest Bush gaffe, the ever-fair Greg Sargent notes that Jeb’s not attacking po’ folks for taking “free stuff:”

Bush was not criticizing recipients of government help as self-designated victims. Rather, he was implicitly criticizing the Democratic vision of government, suggesting that Dems want to use government handouts (“free stuff”) to destructively trap people in dependency (“take care of you”) in order to capture and hold their votes.

As applied to African-Americans, this is the old “Plantation” meme, according to which Democrats have ensnared people by the diabolical means of helping them stay alive and make ends meet, as opposed to “empowering” them with benign neglect.

This sort of rap coming from the scion of a rich and powerful family might go over better if he were preceded by some commitments to letting African-Americans vote and abandoning mass incarceration as a social control mechanism and taking seriously complaints about police misconduct. As it is, it’s just free rhetoric.


By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, September 25, 2015

September 27, 2015 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Voters, Jeb Bush | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I was discussing this with someone who is a Libertarian. He said the same words – Democrats want people on welfare so they will vote for them. I said that is not a true statement and sounds like it comes from one of the conservative radio shock jocks. When I asked him what party has created the most jobs while in the White House, he gave me the expected answer. When I told him it was Democrats and it was not even close, he did not believe me. I said it is a margin of 2 1/2 to 1 since 1921. When I commented that the current unemployment rate was down to 5.1%, he did not believe me. I said it is true as it is reported each month.

    In truth, the stock market does better, the economy does better, the job creation and unemployment do better under Democrat White Houses, on average. I said the Dems need a better press agent, as what I said is all true, but no one, even Democrats will believe this. That is what happens when the news is so tilted and shallow in our country.

    With that said, the President gets too much credit and blame for the economy, but they can provide headwinds or tailwinds. The “failed” stimulus that the GOP likes to hold against Obama is a false statement. The stimulus actually helped says six econometric firms. It just was not enough. Obama deserves more credit than he is getting for doing what he could with our economy. I don’t know why the one percent don’t like Obama, as they have made a load of money while he has been president. The major issue is the inequity.


    Comment by Keith | September 27, 2015 | Reply

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