New York: Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday accused former Florida Gov Jeb Bush of lacking an understanding of the needs of American workers, casting Republican prescriptions for the economy as relics of the past that won't help the middle class.
Clinton, outlining her economic agenda, seized upon the Bush comment last week that "people need to work longer hours."
Clinton said Bush "must not have met many American workers," and said he wouldn't hear that sentiment from teachers or nurses or truck drivers.
"They don't need a lecture. They need a raise," she said. Clinton called raising incomes for hard-working Americans the defining economic challenge facing the nation.
The speech included swipes at other leading Republican presidential candidates, including Florida Sen Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker, who was launching his campaign today.
Clinton made no mention of her chief Democratic rival, Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders, who has wooed Democrats by making economic inequality the central plank of his insurgent campaign.
But her message appeared aimed at liberals who have expressed anxiety about the uneven recovery of the economy since the Great Recession.
"I believe we have to build a growth and fairness economy. You can't have one without the other," Clinton said.
Allie Brandenburger, a Bush spokeswoman, said in response that Clinton was "proposing the same failed policies we have seen in the Obama economy, where the typical American household's income has declined and it's harder for businesses to hire and the middle class to achieve rising incomes."
Clinton's high-profile economic speech coincided with a courting of labor groups and Hispanic officials, who also are being wooed by Sanders and former Maryland Gov Martin O'Malley.
All three were addressing the National Council of La Raza conference later today, appealing to members of the nation's largest Latino advocacy organization.