It’s always jarring when Donald Trump characterizes someone else’s comments as “inappropriate.” Whenever anyone says the same of him, they are just being too “politically correct.” But when a CNN reporter asked Trump to weigh in on Jeb Bush’s use of the phrase “stuff happens” in relation to last week’s mass shooting in Oregon over the weekend, Trump was quick to condemn him.
“Well, I thought it was a very bad word,” Trump said. “I mean, he used the words ‘stuff happens,’ I thought it was a very bad phrase to use. I was actually watching that and I said, ‘Wow, how does he use that phrase?’ He certainly has taken heat, but I thought it was a very inappropriate phrase.”
Asked if he thought it might have been taken out of context, as Bush and others have argued, Trump would only shrug and say, “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Jeb.”
Watch video below, via CBS News:
In light of this new criticism from the GOP frontrunner, let’s compare how Trump and Bush reacted to latest mass shooting in America.
Here’s what Bush said at an event in South Carolina on Friday in response to a question about the role of prayer in reaction to tragedies like the one that happened at Umpqua Community College:
“We’re in a difficult time in our country and I don’t think that more government is necessarily the answer to this. 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.”
And here is what Trump told Morning Joe earlier that same day:
“You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold… Well, you know, it’s not politically correct to say that but you’re going to have difficulty and that would be for the next million years, you’re going to have difficulty. People are going to slip through the cracks and even if you did great mental health programs, people are going to slip through the cracks.
“It’s the same old story. But what are you going to do? There are many people like that and what are you going to do? Institutionalize everybody? So you’re going to have difficulties. You’re going to have difficulties with many different things, not just this. That’s the way the world works — and by the way, that’s the way the world always has worked.”
So, in Bush’s words, “stuff happens” and in Trump’s assessment, “these things happen.”
It’s not simply Bush’s use of the word “stuff” that has left his critics up in arms — and President Barack Obama practically speechless. It is the apparent apathy that both GOP candidates, and several others, have expressed in response to the horrific, yet somehow routine, massacre the nation witnessed last week.
In reality, there is very little daylight between the comments made by Bush and Trump. Both Republican candidates responded with little more than a shrug, concluding the government has no role or responsibility when it comes to gun violence prevention.
[Photo via screengrab]
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