“Washington, D.C. – Jeb Bush says he thinks he can sell the Republican base on his position on immigration – and he’s hitting opponents who have changed their positions on the issue. “I get a sense that a lot of people can be persuaded, to be honest with you,” the former Florida governor told Fox News in a preview of his interview with host Megyn Kelly that aired Sunday.
“Bush has urged a respectful tone toward documented immigrants and has said it should be easier for those immigrants to gain legal status. This position is anathema to much of the party’s conservative base, which opposes “amnesty” in any form – particularly the executive actions President Barack Obama has taken to allow immigrants who were brought into the United States as children to stay, as well as the documented parents of U.S. citizen children. Bush said he would repeal Obama’s unilateral actions.
“But the former Florida governor took a shot at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, though not by name, for changing his position on immigration. Walker once supported a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, but has said he’s changed his views – and even recently called for limits on legal immigration.
“Bush said: “Do you want people to just bend with the wind, to mirror people’s sentiment, whoever’s in front of you? ‘Oh yes, I used to be for that, but now I’m for this’ – is that the way we want to elect presidents?” Bush’s perspective differs from much of the GOP field: He lives in Miami, has a Mexican-born wife and has said his family speaks Spanish at home. His brother, former President George W. Bush, previously supported immigration reform efforts.
“In fact, what we’re trying to do right now is enable some of the immigrants to actually remain in this country and become its full citizens, while at the same time making sure that the ones we don’t see fit to stay here are deported back to their own countries,” Bush exclusively told Newslo.
He added: “It was recently brought to our attention that there are a lot of young, single Republicans out there, and we saw that as an opportunity to try to solve two problems at once. Allowing some of the immigrants to marry members of the GOP is mutually beneficial. It creates a highly-efficient filtering system for the immigrants on one hand, and on the other, solves the problem of finding suitable partners for GOP-ers who are having trouble finding romance. Needless to say, it’s worked on me, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”