PHOENIX — Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, made news over the weekend for his comments on illegal immigration.
When asked about the divisive issue at a 25th anniversary celebration honoring the presidency of his father, George H.W. Bush, he didn’t walk the party line. In fact, he veered very far from it.
“There are means by which we can control our border better than we have. And there should be penalties for breaking the law,” Bush said. “But the way I look at this — and I’m going to say this, and it’ll be on tape and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their families — the dad who loved their children — was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table. And they wanted to make sure their family was intact, and they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family.
“Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”
Meghan McCain, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate and Arizona senator John McCain, was asked by KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos Tuesday if she agreed with Bush’s viewpoint.
McCain didn’t quite go that far, but she offered up some interesting insight as to what they might mean in regards to a possible run at the presidency.
“I understand what he’s saying meaning that America is this shining beacon at the top of the hill as Ronald Reagan once said,” McCain told KTAR. “I think everyone wants to be an American if you can be, especially if you come from a place with political unrest and you don’t have as many opportunities as you have in this country.
“I understand what he’s saying. I think it’s a very good indicator that he’s probably, more than likely running for president.”
In McCain’s eyes, Bush’s candid remarks reflected those of a politician trying to garner the Hispanic vote in the upcoming election.
“Anyone that knows anything about politics knows that George Bush got something like 44 percent of the Hispanic vote when he ran,” said McCain. “My father got 37 percent of the Hispanic vote. Mitt Romney got 27 percent. With each election cycle, the Hispanic vote has gone done.
“I think there’s no way for a Republican to make a play at the White House until we come up with some kind of comprehensive immigration plan and switch the sort of stereotype that Republicans want to deport everyone.”