Jeb Bush talks immigration, Iraq in latest interview

In an interview with Fox News that will air tonight, Republican presidential front-runner Jeb Bush made two substantive comments that offer a hypothetical glimpse into the foreign and immigration policies of a Bush III Administration.

On his brother George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003: “I would have [authorised the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

Invoking Hillary’s name seems to be a prerequisite for Republican candidates these days to justify an unpopular policy position they might hold.

Jeb also invoked his brother’s name as he continued to explain his position on Middle East policy and some of the mistakes that were made:

“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W Bush. Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this  might not be one of those.”

The former Florida governor also espoused his views on immigration in America, something he has a personal connection to with a Mexican-born wife. Most conservatives want to tighten border security before addressing the problem of illegals that are already here, but Jeb has a different approach.

“There has got to be a point where we fix the system so that legal immigration is easier than illegal immigration and show some respect for people, a kid that might have been here ten years, that may be valedictorian of their high school, to say, no, you can’t go to college. there is a point past which we’re over the line.”

Taking a more liberal approach on immigration might be a smart political strategy if Bush can successfully navigate his way through primary season. After all, Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic in America and represented 8.8% of the total vote in the 2012 election. In each of the swing-states of Florida, Colorado, and Nevada, Latinos make up at least 14% of the voter-eligible population.


[The Guardian] [Pew Research]