On "Fox News Sunday," Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush defended his controversial comment that Democrats appeal to African-Americans by offering “free stuff,” saying that his words were taken out of context.

"Our message is one of hope and aspiration," Bush said at a town hall meeting in South Carolina last week. "It isn't one of division and, 'Get in line and we'll take care of you with free stuff.' Our message is one that is uplifting - that says you can achieve earned success. We're on your side."

Chris Wallace pointed out that some people are comparing this to Mitt Romney saying at an NAACP event in 2012 that he would rebuff black voters interested in "more free stuff," a statement which was roundly criticized.

Bush argued that the GOP needs to make the case to African-American voters - and all voters - that fixing a few big, complex things is what will allow people to rise up.

"That's what people want. They don't want free stuff. That was my whole point," Bush said. "The left argues all the time taking things out of context."

The former Florida governor pointed out that six million more people are in poverty today than the day that Barack Obama got elected president. He added that the government spends a trillion dollars a year on poverty programs, yet the percentage of people in poverty has remained the same.

"We should try something different, which is to give people the capacity to achieve earned success. Fix our schools, fix our economy, lessen the crime rates in the big urban areas, and I think people in poverty could be lifted up."

Watch more from the "Fox News Sunday" interview above.

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