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News Wednesday, Aug 5 2015

Jeb Bush's Callous Disregard For The Well-Being Of American Women

Aug 05, 2015

In calling for defunding Planned Parenthood, and questioning whether “we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” Jeb Bush yesterday displayed a callous disregard for the well-being of American women, and proved yet again just how extreme and woefully out of touch he is when it comes to women’s issues.

Read more about Jeb’s contemptuous dismissal of women’s health funding:

Breitbart: Jeb Bush Pulls A Todd Akin, Hillary & CNN Pounce

A massive unforced error committed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush Tuesday has not only allowed Hillary Clinton and her media (especially CNN) to go on the offense over the Planned Parenthood issue, it has created a video clip that will haunt Bush and the GOP for as long as Bush is in the presidential race.

During a relaxed forum where Bush was under no pressure and had plenty of time to expand on anything he wanted to discuss, he said, “I’m not sure we need a half-billion dollars for women’s health issues.” 

America then had a Todd Akin flashback where statements made by a Republican that fit perfectly into the Democrat/Media’s phony War On Women narrative led the 8 a.m. CNN news hour, you know, on the same day we learned Clinton’s email server is under investigation by the F.B.I.

This isn’t Bush’s first mistake either, he JerryLewis-ed all over a simple question about the Iraq War, or The Question He Should Have Been Most Ready To Answer Above All Others.

If we are always cleaning up a mess in aisle four, always on defense, always explaining instead of attacking, we look weak and feckless. That is the real issue, not the misstatement.

Alternately, by seizing on the comment, even unfairly, Clinton looks tough and competent. Whatever the self-destruct mechanism was that misfired in Jeb’s brain, it gave Clinton a low and easy one right over the plate.

Politico: Jeb Bush’s ad-lib offers Dems another gift

Another ill-advised ad lib from Jeb Bush, another opportunity for Democrats.

The Romneyesque unforced error drew a fast and furious backlash from Democrats, causing Bush to backtrack almost immediately and to acknowledge that he “misspoke.”

As Bush knows, Democrats savaged the GOP’s 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, for his own calls during the primary to defund Planned Parenthood.

“A few more months of this and the GOP will be wishing for a candidate with the political skills of Mitt Romney,” tweeted Dan Pfieffer, a former communications director for President Barack Obama.

Bush’s record aside, the video of his Tuesday comments could be used to devastating effect in television ads against him next fall, should he become the Republican nominee.

Just as his struggles to answer a question about the Iraq war back in May caused concern for supporters that Bush hadn’t shaken off the rust of nearly a decade away from politics, this series of gaffes may produce similar concerns just as Bush is set to take the stage for the first GOP debate in Cleveland on Thursday.

Los Angeles Times: Bush says he misspoke about funding for women’s healthcare

That has resulted in the occasional gaffe — such as his statement last month that Americans need to work longer hours — that could haunt him in the general election if Bush is the GOP nominee. Tuesday’s comments could have particular resonance among moderate women, a key voting bloc for any politician seeking the White House.

New York Times: Bush Causes a Stir on Women’s Health Issues

It was a casual aside from Jeb Bush, but it could haunt him throughout a campaign in which women’s votes — and issues — may prove pivotal.

The remark highlighted a larger problem for Mr. Bush: Out of office for eight years, he has occasionally stumbled in interviews. He spent days struggling to answer whether he would have invaded Iraq even with hindsight knowledge about intelligence failures. At first, he said he would have; then, he said he had misheard the question; later, he said he did not wish to answer the question out of sensitivity to veterans; finally, he said he would not have invaded the country.

Huffington Post: Jeb Bush Evokes Ghost Of Mitt Romney With Flub About Abortion

Bush’s difficulties with phrasing is a sign of a broader problem. His reoccurring clumsy comments evoke the stumbles of Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney’s penchant for out-of-context quotes gave Democrats countless opportunities to paint him as an out-of-touch plutocrat who didn’t care for the middle class.

MSNBC: Incoherence on women’s health trips up Jeb Bush

Most of the sentences in Bush’s quote include an error of fact or judgment. The former governor has never been able to explain why Planned Parenthood – a health organization championed by his father and grandfather – should lose its public funding. He also knows that taxpayers aren’t funding abortion – that’s already illegal – and for Bush to argue otherwise is needlessly dishonest.

But the real problem was with his offhand reflection: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” At this point, the GOP candidate didn’t seem to be referring to Planned Parenthood, so much as Bush was questioning investing in women’s health in general.

And since taxpayer funding for abortions is already legally prohibited, it suggests Bush was referring to spending on cancer screenings, prenatal care, and STD tests. Given that there are over 158 million women in the United States, $500 million for “women’s health issues” hardly seems excessive.

In other words, it appears one of the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination scoffed at investing in women’s health, and when questioned, he lied about the work of an organization he opposes for reasons he can’t explain.

The Guardian: Jeb Bush questions need to spend $500m on women’s health annually

Despite Bush’s efforts to walk back his comments, the moment could linger well into the general election if he is the nominee. Republicans have struggled in recent elections to connect with women voters, and Democrats are keen to resurrect the so-called “War on Women” narrative that has damaged the party’s standing among single women in particular.

Washington Post: PowerPost The Daily 202 

Jeb Bush gave valuable ammunition to Democratic ad makers yesterday when he declared,”I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” while referring to the debate over Planned Parenthood. Bush tried to clean up his comment with not one but two statements. The second version added the words “I misspoke.”

The kerfuffle highlighted how hard it will be for Republicans to play offense on women’s issues in a sustained way. In 2012, pro-life candidates blew two winnable Senate races with comments about rape and abortion, as Mitt Romney lost women by double digits. Republicans were much more cautious in 2014, even running commercials touting their support for widely-available birth control. Using the embarrassing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials, another of which came out yesterday, social conservatives have convinced GOP operatives that this will be a winner in 2016. A handful of Republicans running for president are now threatening to shut down the federal government this fall to try cutting off Planned Parenthood, which is already barred from using federal funds to pay for abortion.

Even after the hard-to-defend videos, the group is still viewed favorably by 45 percent of Americans, according to this week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Only 30 percent view it negatively. As a point of comparison, the same poll found that Jeb is viewed positively by 26 percent of Americans and negatively by 40 percent.

Published: Aug 5, 2015

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