Clinton aide slams Jeb Bush over religious freedom comments
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John Podesta, chairman of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: The center strikes back Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE’s 2016 presidential campaign, on Friday defended earlier statements by Clinton on religious beliefs and women’s rights.
“Hillary Clinton has spoken out for decades against extremists who pervert the world’s great religions to justify brutality against women and girls. That is what Republicans are attacking her for,” Podesta told BuzzFeed News.
Podesta was referring to a speech in April where Clinton said that for women’s rights to be enforced, particularly on health care and eduction, “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.” 
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican presidential contender, slammed Clinton’s statements earlier this week during the announcement of his candidacy.
“Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary, those beliefs ‘have to be changed.’ That is what she said,” Bush said Monday.
Podesta tore directly into Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who also criticized Clinton this week.
“ISIS claims their religious faith justifies forcing Yazidi women in Iraq into sexual slavery. Does Gov. Bush think we should respect that practice?” Podesta said. “The Taliban torture women in Afghanistan in the name of their twisted version of Islam. Does Gov. Jindal think that is acceptable? What about forced marriages or throwing acid in women’s faces?”
“If Republicans think standing up to these atrocities is part of Hillary Clinton’s progressive agenda, we are proud to agree,” Podesta said.
Bush’s campaign fired back Friday, telling Buzzfeed, “What’s insulting is that Sec. Clinton’s campaign chairman would compare Christians acting on their conscience to barbaric Islamic extremists.”