Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong; Getty Images

After what was supposed to be a routine speech with religious conservatives, Jeb Bush is now on the defensive, claiming that he "misspoke" when talking about a particularly hot-button issue. 

As reported in the New York Times, during an interview with the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday, Bush said, "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues," in response to a question about defunding Planned Parenthood. 

The Republican presidential hopeful continued, "You could take dollar for dollar—although I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues, but if you took, dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinary fine organizations, community health organizations, that exist, federally sponsored organizations, to provide quality care for woman on a variety of health issues."

His comments immediately drew criticism from Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who tweeted her disagreement:

PHOTOS: Red Hot Republicans!

"You are absolutely, unequivocally wrong," she wrote.

Clinton also addressed Bush's comments at a campaign in Denver tonight, telling the crowd, "Just today, we got another window into what republican candidates really believe. Jeb bush said he's not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues—I'm reading it because I want to quote it exactly.

"Now he's got no problem giving billions of dollars away to the super wealthy and powerful corporations, but I guess women's health just isn't a priority for him...Now, I would like to ask him – Gov. Bush, try telling that to the mom who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get screening in time, was her health not worth the money? Tell it to the teenager who avoided an unintended pregnancy because she had access to contraception. Tell it to everyone who was protected by an HIV test."

She concludes by saying, "You know, this really isn't complicated—when you attack Planned Parenthood, you attack women's health and when you attack women's health, you attack America's health. The truth is, what Jeb said, the other republican candidates believe too and that's not the only example of them being out of touch and out of date."

Bush later clarified his comments on his website saying, "With regards to women's health funding broadly, I misspoke, as there are countless community health centers, rural clinics, and other women's health organizations that need to be fully funded. They provide critical services to all, but particularly low-income women who don't have the access they need.

The former governor of Florida added, "I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood – an organization that was callously participating is the unthinkable practice of selling fetal organs. Democrats and Republicans agree we absolutely must defund them and redirect those funds to other women's health organizations."

Bush is currently No. 2 in the polls behind Donald Trump as candidates gear up for the much-hyped first GOP debate this Thursday on Fox News. 

Watch Chelsea Clinton talk about raising the profile of women in government and entertainment. 

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