Republican Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said on Wednesday that ‘’people should work longer hours”, so that the economy can be improved. The Democratic National Committee has called the statement as out-of-touch.
Jeb Bush, while doing an interview with The Union Leader, live-streamed on the app Periscope, as part of his New Hampshire campaign, stated that to grow the economy, people should work longer hours, because he believes he can achieve his aspiration of creating a growing economy with an annual four percent economic growth. According to Reuters, he says that would be achieved with Americans being more productive and that “the workforce participation should rise from its all-time modern lows. This means that people need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families.”
The comment was similar to the one made by 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who was under attack by Democrats of being out-of-touch with the middle class. The same goes for the statement made by Bush, to which the Democratic National Committee made a quick reaction of blaming Jeb Bush and the Republican party of not being in touch with the regular American. According to Reuters, the Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Holly Shulman stated that “It is easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle. Jeb Bush would not fight for the middle class as president.”
On another event in Hudson, Bush faced reporters who asked about the statement he made in Manchester, New Hampshire and according to Reuters, Bush stated that in order for the economy o grow, people must take their part-time work to full-time and make a greater income for their families. He said “You can take it out of context all you want, but high sustained growth means people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours and that by our success they have disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than standing in line and being dependent upon government.” He also took a dig at President Barack Obama for not making a strong enough economy and said that the workforce participation rate is the lowest since 1977.
Even though Bush thinks that Americans should work more, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, U.S. workers have more hours than workers in any other industrialized country.
Other Presidential nominees for the 2016 Elections made statements in regard to Bush’s comments, including John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair who said Americans already work hard and don’t need longer hours, what they need is higher paychecks. Criticism comes from fellow Republicans too, with Ted Cruz’s spokesman Rick Tyler, issuing a statement saying that Bush should avoid these types of comments, because they make him out of touch with the economic struggles of the average American.
A Bush aide tried to clarify the situation stating that Bush referred to the underemployment and part-time workers and that the Democrats are trying to take things out of context. Jeb Bush, the younger brother of former president George W. Bush and son of former president George H. W. Bush is the frontrunner of the Republican Party.