Democrats are having a field day after Jeb Bush told New Hampshire's The Union Leader that "people need to work longer hours." To achieve his plan of 4% growth, "we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours," Bush said in an interview live-streamed on Periscope, per ABC News. The DNC immediately jumped on the remark, calling it "easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we've heard so far this cycle," noting Bush isn't willing to fight for middle-class Americans. Bush's camp has since clarified the statement, arguing the presidential hopeful was talking about part-time workers and the underemployed.
"Under President Obama, we have the lowest workforce participation rate since 1977, and too many Americans are falling behind. Only Washington Democrats could be out-of-touch enough to criticize giving more Americans the ability to work, earn a paycheck, and make ends meet," an aide says. The idea of longer hours is sure to be unpopular among full-time workers, many of whom work 47 hours a week, according to a Gallup poll last year. On Twitter, Hillary Clinton commented, "Anyone who believes Americans aren't working hard enough hasn't met enough American workers." Bush shot back, per Politico: "Anyone who discounts 6.5 million people stuck in part-time work & seeking full-time jobs hasnt (sic) listened to working Americans."