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Politics & Policy

No, Jeb Bush Did Not ‘Shrug Off’ the Oregon Shooting

Even for those of us who track it on a daily basis, the rank dishonesty of the press can be astonishing. Friday’s leftwing feeding-frenzy comes courtesy of Jeb Bush’s Q&A at the Conservative Leadership Project in Greenville, S.C. This ABC News headline is representative: “Jeb Bush Says ‘Stuff Happens’ in Response to Gun Violence.”

Naturally, not just ABC News, Politico, and the like are running with the story, but so are bastions of intellectual scrupulosity, such as Mother Jones and Salon.

Except here is the full quote:

We’re in a difficult time in our country, and I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It’s very sad to see. But I resist this notion — and I had this challenge as governor — look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis, and the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.

Here is a fuller transcript:

And here is video:

Bush was hardly shrugging. But it doesn’t much matter. The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, who first ripped the quote out of its very relevant context, waited 46 minutes before tweeting out Bush’s full remarks, during which time the clipped version spread widely.

Alas, it’s nothing new. Bush was the subject of another faux-outrage just two weeks ago, when Talking Points Memo wrote this lead—

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush warned America is “creeping toward multiculturalism” during a campaign stop Tuesday, and said he worries about areas where the assimilation process is “retarded.”

—to gloss this comment:

We should not have a multicultural society. When you create pockets of isolation, and in some cases, the assimilation process has been retarded, it’s wrong. It limits people’s aspirations.

Sometimes, it’s not “bias” or “slant.” It’s just outright dishonesty.


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