BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You


Jeb Bush Said "Stuff Happens" — Here Are His Full Comments And The Context

Asked at a press conference on Friday to respond to comments made by Jeb Bush on gun control, President Obama said, “I don’t even think I have to react to that one."

Posted on October 2, 2015, at 5:11 p.m. ET

On Friday, in South Carolina, a voter asked Jeb Bush about how prayer is no longer allowed in schools, but the first thing that happens after a mass shooting or similar event, is a prayer vigil.

Sean Rayford / Getty Images
We're in a difficult time in our country, and I don't think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It's just — it's very sad to see. But I resist — I had this challenge as governor. We had — look — stuff happens — there's always a crisis. The impulse is to do something, and it's not always the right thing to do.

Here is the video:

View this video on YouTube

In a tweet from the event, Ryan Lizza, a political reporter for the New Yorker, honed in on the phrase "stuff happens," and the remark was quickly picked up by several news outlets based only on Lizza's tweet.

In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, "stuff happens."


Bush also had this to say, which Lizza later tweeted, on the topic:

Judge for yourself what Jeb was trying to say. Context is warning about passing gun laws in the wake of a tragedy.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, quoting Bush’s response directly but not in full, asked President Obama to react to the comments at a press conference on Friday.

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images
JONATHAN KARL: And I have to get you to respond to something that Jeb Bush just said, and to be fair to Governor Bush I want to read it directly. Asked about the drive to take action about what happened in Oregon, he said, 'Look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse is to do something, and it's not always the right thing to do.' How would you react to Gov. Bush?OBAMA: I don't even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should make their own judgements based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And in terms of — and they can decide whether they consider that stuff happening.

In a statement, the Bush campaign called the reaction by Democrats and some in the press to the former Florida governor's remarks "sad and beyond craven."