Controversy was recently stirred up when comments Jeb Bush made in his 1995 book Profiles in Character resurfaced. In the book, he suggested that out-of-wedlock births were increasing because single mothers and fathers no longer faced public shaming. The quote partially read, “There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out-of-wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.” Bush tried to quell that controversy at a political rally in Iowa on Wednesday. When asked by an attendee why he would be in favor of shaming single mothers, the Republican presidential hopeful nuanced his comments, saying, “I’m not in favor of shaming women. What I’m in favor of is shaming men who abandon their children. Women who bring up children by themselves do it heroically, they do it against all odds,” adding, “Men who don’t feel responsible for being part of their child’s life create real strains on that family.” Bush then pointed out his record reforming child support laws and empowering families as Florida governor.
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