US & Canada

Jeb Bush says sorry for mocking French working week

Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, centre left, walks with members of the media and supporters as he departs a campaign event held in a barn belonging to former .S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Rye, N.H Image copyright AP
Image caption Bush apologised while campaigning in New Hampshire

US presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has apologised to France for referencing their working week to insult a rival.

In light-hearted comments to reporters, Mr Bush said he had done a "disservice to the French" by using them to mock Marco Rubio's senate voting record.

"I made the mistake of saying that the Congress operates on a French work week," he was reported as saying.

He said he had since learned that the French work longer hours than the Germans do.

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Media captionJeb Bush: "You should be showing up to work"

"So, my God, I totally insulted an entire country - our first ally - that helped us become free as a nation!" Mr Bush said, according to Time magazine.

Mr Bush made the original comments during a Republican presidential debate last week.

The former Florida governor asked Mr Rubio whether the Senate ran on French time and if lawmakers only had to show up for three days weekly.

His campaign spokesman Tim Miller said he had been inundated with emails from French journalists following the debate.

Even Gerard Araud, the French ambassador, responded on Twitter to correct Mr Bush.

The French officially work a 35-hour week though many employees put in far longer hours.

Mr Bush and Mr Rubio are trailing behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

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