Jeb Bush criticized for saying ‘stuff happens’ while discussing school shootings
President Obama and Democrats quickly condemned comments made Friday by Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who said that there isn't always a useful government solution to mass shootings and other crises because "stuff happens."
Speaking at an event in Greenville, S.C., Bush's comment came in the midst of expansive answers about the Second Amendment and how people respond to school shootings.
"We're in a difficult time in our country and I don't think that more government is necessarily the answer to this," he said. "I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It's just, it's very sad to see. But I resist the notion -- and I did, I had this, this challenge as governor, because we have, 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."
Bush was speaking at a forum hosted by The Conservative Leadership Project, a group with ties to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who moderated the event. His comments came the day after a shooter at an Oregon community college killed nine before being killed by police. Several others are recovering from injuries.
When a reporter asked Bush whether the remark was a mistake, he replied: "No, it wasn’t a mistake, I said exactly what I said, explain to me what I said wrong."
"You said 'stuff happens,'" the reporter said.
"Things happen all the time," Bush said. "Things -- is that better?"
He later elaborated: "Things happen all the time. A child drowns in a pool and the impulse is to pass a law that puts fencing around a pool... The cumulative effect of this is that in some cases, you don’t solve the problem by passing the law and you’re imposing on large numbers of people burdens that make it harder for our economy to grow, make it harder to protect liberty."