Jeb Bush Says No Need to Apologize for 'All Lives Matter'

He was asked if Martin O'Malley should apologize for saying it.

Bush responded by asking, "We're so uptight and so politically correct now that we apologize for saying 'lives matter?"

He added, "Life is precious. It's a gift from God. I frankly think that it's one of the most important values that we have. I know in the political context it's a slogan, I guess. Should he have apologized? No. If he believes that white lives matter, which I hope he does, then he shouldn't have apologized to a group that seemed to disagree with it."

It is a slogan viewed by activists as deeply out of touch and a view that overlooks the crux of their call to social equality and an end to the systematic prejudice they say African-Americans face in the eyes of the justice system.

Both quickly scrambled to amend his remarks; O'Malley appearing on a black talk show to say he made a mistake, Sanders forcefully condemning Bland's arrest, calling it "painful and dreadful".

"And that’s why I think it is essential that we all stand up and say loudly and clearly, ‘Yes, black lives matter.’ And we all have a responsibility to face these hard truths of race and justice honestly and directly,” Clinton said to cheers during a campaign stop at the Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, South Carolina.

Clinton was criticized last month for saying “all lives matter” at an event at a historic black church close to Ferguson, Missouri, where protesters last year widely used the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”

ABC News' Shushannah Walshe contributed to this report.

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