What George W. Bush is to governing, Jeb is to campaigning
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what Jeb Bush’s immigration reform plan is. And neither is Jeb.
Throughout 2012 and as late as late January of this year, Jeb was saying Republicans shouldn’t oppose a path to citizenship. Then in early March, he promotes a book saying that immigrants who came here without permission as a adults should never have a path to citizenship — unless they go back to their native country and reapply. It’s not exactly the “self-deportation” Mitt Romney advocated but it was close enough to infuriate Romney’s aides.
When the blowback for that stand was gale force, Jeb seemed to waffle and said he’d be willing to consider a path to citizenship. He also explained that his book was written last year, which makes no sense because late January of 2013 wasn’t last year.
All that’s clear is Jeb has backed away from his direct plea for Republicans to embrace a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which he made when it could most hurt Mitt Romney in the middle of last year.
Jeb Bush swinging right on immigration reform would be like Mitt Romney running against universal health care
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) March 4, 2013
What’s hilarious is that George W. Bush’s only policy that still polls well was his belief that there should be a path to citizenship in immigration reform — 57 percent approved of the idea on a recent poll. Even Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio approve of a path to citizenship, just with tons of hoops in it.
Jeb obviously picked an issue to move to the right on to draw distinctions between his brother and himself and position himself for the 2016 primary.
Jeb needs distinctions with his brother because otherwise he’s running on this:
All of the policies that blew the surplus and added trillions to our debt.
And Jeb hasn’t even had to start talking about Iraq yet. Awesome.