Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are butting heads on the state of the American worker.
The Republican told the New Hampshire Union Leader's editorial board on Wednesday that one of his goals is to increase workforce participation. “It means people need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families,” he said in the first-in-the-nation primary state.
The Democratic National Committee seized on the comment. The remark was “easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle,” spokeswoman Holly Shulman said in an e-mail.
Later Wednesday, speaking with reporters at a town hall-style meeting in Hudson, New Hampshire, Bush elaborated. “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 money, disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than standing in line and being dependent upon government,” he said.
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, took a veiled swipe at Bush Wednesday night on Twitter. “Anyone who believes Americans aren't working hard enough hasn't met enough American workers,” she wrote alongside a graph of diverging productivity and hourly compensation over the last 60 years. She didn't mention him by name.
On Thursday morning, Bush responded directly to Clinton, saying: “Anyone who discounts 6.5 million people stuck in part-time work & seeking full-time jobs hasnt listened to working Americans.”