A series of controversial passages about “shame” that appeared in “Profiles in Character,” a book former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) co-wrote in 1995 have resurfaced ahead of his expected presidential campaign announcement last week.
In a statement to Business Insider, Bush spokesperson Allie Brandenburger described criticism of the writings as “cheap shots.”
Many of the controversial passages appeared in a section of the book titled “The Restoration of Shame.” In it, Bush argued “our inner city streets” and other areas of society “are in dire need of some sense of shame.” Bush suggested shame could deter people from “irresponsible behaviour” including crime and having children out of wedlock.
He also described how he thought public shaming could be used on young criminals.
“In the context of present-day society we may need to make kids feel shame before their friends rather than their family,” Bush wrote. “The Miami Herald columnist Robert Steinback has a good idea. He suggests dressing these juvenile offenders in frilly pink jumpsuits and making them sweep the streets of their own neighbourhoods! Would these kids be so cavalier then? It’s not just our inner city streets that are in dire need of some sense of shame.”
Brandenburger responded by saying Bush has proven his desire to help people who are struggling.
“Anyone can take cheap shots, but Governor Bush has dedicated himself to helping low-income kids in broken homes, single mums, and victims of domestic abuse so that they can achieve their dreams. That’s what he is all about,” she explained.
“Here is Governor Bush’s record: He took action against irresponsible fathers by increasing child support enforcement by 90%. He fought for school choice programs so single mothers could provide better education options to their children, driving strong gains in African American and Hispanic student achievement. He made fighting domestic violence a top priority of his Administration, reducing the rate of these crimes by 27%,” Brandenburger said.
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