Hillary Clinton Hits Jeb Bush First, And Hard, In Speech On Race. By The Time Jeb Bush Got To The Lectern Declaring “I Believe In The Right To Rise In This Country,” The Scent Of Political Gun-Powder Was Still In The Air!

[NYT] FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Jeb Bush and his aides had envisioned a big, inclusive, high-minded speech about race on Friday in his home state of Florida, a chance to bring his message of colorblind opportunity to a prestigious group of African-American leaders.


In a rare gesture of bipartisanship, Mr. Bush even planned to warmly quote President Obama, usually the subject of his derision.


Then Hillary Rodham Clinton stomped all over those plans.


In a biting pre-emptive attack delivered as Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, waited backstage here at the annual convention of the National Urban League, Mrs. Clinton portrayed him as a hypocrite who had set back the cause of black Americans.


Mrs. Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president, latched onto Mr. Bush’s campaign slogan and the name of his “super PAC” — “Right to Rise,” his shorthand for a conservative agenda of self-reliance and hope — and turned it into a verbal spear.


“People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care,” Mrs. Clinton said to applause from convention goers, a dig at Mr. Bush’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act.


“They can’t rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on,” she said, a jab at his opposition to raising the federal minimum wage.


“They can’t rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education,” she said, a critique of Mr. Bush’s decision as governor to eliminate affirmative action in college admissions.


When Mr. Bush reached the lectern, declaring, “I believe in the right to rise in this country,” the scent of political gunpowder was still in the air.


It was an unexpected moment of Campaign Theater that seemed to presage Mrs. Clinton’s general-election strategy should she prevail in her party’s primary contest: an elbows-out, cutting approach to her Republican rival. And it was all the more striking because the Bush and Clinton families make a point of highlighting their friendly ties: Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush appear on this week’s cover of Time magazine.


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