GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Sunday defended his controversial comments that the Democratic Party is trying to buy black voters with "free stuff," saying his words were taken out of context.
"Our message is one of hope and aspiration," the former Florida governor said at a South Carolina town hall last week. "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. We're on your side."
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Bush said his party must make explain to all voters why fixing problems will allow everyone to achieve.
"That's what people want. They don't want free stuff. That was my whole point," Bush said. "The left argues all the time taking things out of context."
Six million more people are in poverty today than when Barack Obama was elected, Bush noted.
"We should try something different, which is to give people the capacity to achieve earned success. Fix our schools, fix our economy, lessen the crime rates in the big urban areas, and I think people in poverty could be lifted up."
Host Chris Wallace also challenged Bush on his tax plan, which Wallace said would cut middle-class taxes by 2.9 percent, but would cut the rate for the top one percent by 11.6 percent.
Bush himself would save $3 million a year on taxes, Wallace said.
Bush said the benefit aids the middle class more, and that higher income people would actually end up paying more proportionally than they do today.
"Of course, tax cuts for everybody is going to generate more for people paying a lot more," he said. "That's just the way it is.
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