Forget the primary. For a moment Friday in Fort Lauderdale, it seemed as though next year’s general election had already arrived.
Democrat Hillary Clinton took direct aim at Republican Jeb Bush — who in turn made a pitch to the voters whose support he would need to defeat Clinton.
Clinton didn’t name Bush when she spoke to the annual conference of the National Urban League, a civil-rights organization that welcomed five 2016 presidential candidates. But she referred to the “right to rise” — the name of a political action committee raising money for him.
“Too often we see a mismatch between what some candidates say in venues like this, and what they actually do when they’re elected,” Clinton said.
“I don’t think you can credibly say that everyone has a ‘right to rise’ and then say you’re for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare. People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care. They can’t rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. They can’t rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. And you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote.”
That last line, alluding to some of Bush’s policies as Florida governor, prompted a round of enthusiastic applause. Bush’s administration purged the voter rolls and shortened early-voting hours, two measures that disproportionately hurt African Americans.
“What people say matters, but what they do matters more,” Clinton said.