Hillary Clinton Challenges Jeb Bush On His Home Turf
A clash over Cuba between the Democratic and Republican candidates.
By LIZ KREUTZ and MICHAEL FALCONE
July 31, 2015, 4:30 PM
• 4 min read
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida -- Appearing in the same city and at the same event as Jeb Bush today, Hillary Clinton took aim at the candidate who could be her future Republican presidential rival in the state where he lives and governed for eight years.
Without mentioning Bush by name, Clinton sunk her teeth into a phrase that has become synonymous with the Bush campaign.
“I don’t think you can credibly say that everybody has a right to rise and then say you’re for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare,” Clinton said at a gathering of the National Urban League, referring to the name of Bush’s Super PAC, as well as a line he often uses in his campaign speech, “Right to Rise.”
“They can’t rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. They can’t rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. And you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise, and support laws that deny the right to vote,” she continued.
Bush, who delivered remarks to members of the non-partisan civil rights group shortly after Clinton, did not offer a direct response to her. But his campaign did.
“These are just more false, cheap political shots to distract from the fact that Secretary Clinton has no record of accomplishment to run on this race,” spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said in a statement. “The Urban League deserved better today.”
Later today, Clinton plans to deliver a speech in Miami meant to tweak Bush and other Republicans. She will call for a lifting of a full-scale end to the U.S. embargo with Cuba.
“The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all. We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers the Cuban private sector, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban-American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime," Clinton said in her speech. "Today I am calling on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to step up and answer the pleas of the Cuban people.”
Bush is opposed to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba.
“It’s insulting to many residents of Miami for Hillary Clinton to come here to endorse a retreat in the struggle for democracy in Cuba,” Bush said in a statement. “This city has become a home and a refuge to thousands and thousands of Castro’s victims. Secretary Clinton’s call to abandon the embargo -- and the principles of democracy and freedom for the Cuban people -- in exchange for nothing in return from the regime in Havana adds insult to the pain they and their families feel.”