"My aspiration for the country -- and I believe we can achieve it -- is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see,
" he told the newspaper. "Which means 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 and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in."
The Democratic National Committee quickly jumped on the comments, e-mailing a clip of the exchange to reporters and calling them "easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle."
Democrats and other groups sought to cast the remarks as echoes of gaffes made by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, that added to a perception that he was a wealthy executive out-of-touch with ordinary Americans.
Not so fast, Bush told reporters as he clarified his comments after a town hall meeting at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall here.
"If we’re going to grow the economy people need to stop being part-time workers, they need to be having access to greater opportunities to work," he told reporters
He faulted the Obama administration and congressional Democrats for enacting a series of policies that have made it harder for businesses to create jobs and for Americans to work longer hours.
"You can take it out of context all you want, but high-sustained growth means that people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours and that by our success, they have money, disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than getting in line and being dependent on government," Bush said....