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US: Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush to meet pastors in Charleston in the aftermath of massacre

US Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush will pastors in Charleston next week. Bush was scheduled to campaign in the state but postponed events due the shooting.

AFP

Updated:June 27, 2015, 11:20 AM IST
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US: Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush to meet pastors in Charleston in the aftermath of massacre
US Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush will pastors in Charleston next week. Bush was scheduled to campaign in the state but postponed events due the shooting.

Washington: US presidential hopeful Jeb Bush will meet with pastors next week in Charleston, South Carolina where a horrific shooting in a historic black church killed nine people, his campaign said Saturday.

Bush travels to the coastal city on Monday to sit down with religious figures in a meeting that will be closed to the media. Later in the day he tours a pharmaceutical company in the town of West Columbia.

The visit marks a return of sorts for the Republican 2016 candidate. Bush arrived to campaign in Charleston on the night of June 17, just hours after the shooting, but canceled his appearances in the early voting state when he learned of the tragedy.

The alleged shooter, who is white, has been accused of racially motivated murder. In the aftermath, South Carolina's Republican Governor Nikki Haley urged the southern state's legislature to remove the Confederate battle flag, seen by many as a symbol of America's racial divisions, from the state capitol.

While governor, Bush helped move the flag from Florida's state house to a museum in 2001. While Bush has applauded Haley for her move, in the days after the attack he downplayed the shooting's racial context, reportedly saying at a conservative conference that he did not know why the man committed the crimes.

President Barack Obama gave a stirring speech, much of it about race, on Friday in Charleston, where he eulogized Clementa Pinckney, pastor at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, who was killed along with eight other congregants.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for 2016, attended the Friday funeral.

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