Cheri Jacobus, a Republican strategist, went on CNN and tried to do the impossible: defend Jeb Bush for saying that single mothers should have shame heaped upon them to discourage them. It’s an indefensible statement, but she gave it a valiant try.
On Wednesday, Jacobus said that the likely candidate was making an effort to save taxpayer money.
“His heart was in the right place,” she insisted. “He’s talking about solving the problem of unwed motherhood, children being born into these families. Our latest census data shows us that of the bottom fifth of earners in this country, 83 percent are comprised of single-parent households, unwed mothers. You have children being born and raised into poverty.”…
CNN host Carol Costello pointed out that, as governor of Florida, Bush had not vetoed a law that forced single mothers who were putting their babies up for adoption to post their full names, physical descriptions and the names of their sexual partners in the newspaper.
“I don’t think you should be calling it public shaming,” Jacobus declared.
“To write about who you had sex with? And make it public?” Costello replied, shaking her head.
“You’ve got to support the effort,” Jacobus replied. “Was it an inelegant way to do it? Yes, but the effort and the feeling and the impetus behind it is correct. Did they get it right? Absolutely not. But it was not meant to shame the parent, the mother.”…
“They’re trying to at least let the father’s family have some say in that,” Jacobus continued. “That was the effort. It was not designed to shame the mother. If that was the result, that’s why it didn’t work.”
“The intent behind it was definitely to help the child, putting the child first. And I think it’s hard to not support that.”
I doubt she believes any of this, but she had a job to do. It’s like being a White House press secretary — your job is to lie and to say incredibly dumb things that everyone knows are not true with total confidence.