When Jeb Bush steps up to the podium at a Florida convention center Friday to address the National Urban League, a nonpartisan civil rights organization that advocates for African-Americans, it will be the former state governor’s first time addressing a largely black audience as a 2016 White House contender. Other 2016 contenders are expected to appear with him in Florida, but Bush’s remarks will likely garner the most interest because of the crowd’s potential to be hostile.
Bush, a son and brother of two U.S. presidents, is expected to deliver a speech about the “unjust barriers to opportunity and upward mobility” in the U.S., according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times. The speech is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. EDT, at the Broward County Convention Center in Tallahassee, Florida. To watch a live stream of the speech, view the video player below or click here.
After a year when police killing unarmed men of color prompted the question of whether black lives mattered to the white U.S. majority, the expectation is that Bush and other candidates would speak to how they would be a good president for black and urban America. The majority black audience at the 2012 conference for the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, booed Mitt Romney, then the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, for saying he would do away with the healthcare reforms enacted by President Barack Obama, the first African-American U.S. president.
Bush is expected to highlight where he agrees with Obama about inequalities among minorities. “So many lives can come to nothing, or come to grief, when we ignore problems, or fail to meet our own responsibilities,” read a speech prepared for delivery by Bush that was obtained by the Tampa Bay Times. “And so many people could do so much better in life if we could come together and get even a few big things right in government. I acted on that belief as governor of Florida. It’s a record I’ll gladly compare with that of anyone else in the field.”
Fellow Republican hopeful Ben Carson, along with Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, were also confirmed for the Urban League’s presidential candidates plenary on Friday.
— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) July 30, 2015