Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton slammed Republican candidate Jeb Bush on racial issues Friday during a speech at a National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., contending that his campaign slogan, “Right to rise,” is an insult to people of color.
The slogan fits the old Republican mantra of “self-reliance and hope,” notes the New York Times, but Clinton essentially said people cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps if they are being oppressed by systemic racism in health care, jobs, education and the criminal-justice system.
“People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care,” Clinton said to cheers from the audience, taking aim at former Florida governor Bush’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. She also attacked his record on education and his opposition to increasing the federal minimum wage.
When Bush took the lectern, he declared, “I believe in the right to rise in this country,” writes the Times.
Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson were the only two GOP presidential candidates to attend the annual convention of the nation’s oldest civil rights group. Well over a dozen other candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination declined the Urban League’s invitation to appear, mostly citing scheduling conflicts, reports the Associated Press.
Two of Clinton’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, also attended the event. The candidates are hoping to win African-American votes, which helped propel President Barack Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012.