‘It kind of pours gasoline on the fire among conservatives who don’t trust him’

Jeb Bush

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made some intensely controversial statements about immigration and amnesty at a 2013 conference and related appearances, which got a little attention at the time, including a reference to newcomers being “more fertile” and that children brought illegally to the U.S. by their parents should, of course, have an “accelerated path” to becoming a citizen.

But with the fight over President Obama’s current executive memo-driven amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens and Bush’s current status as a leading possible candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination following Mitt Romney’s decision to remove himself from the competition, they have become fuel on flames.

“It kind of pours gasoline on the fire among conservatives who don’t trust Jeb on immigration,” Texas-based GOP operative Matt Mackowiak told CNN, which reported Wednesday on the comments.

Bush’s remarks came during a conference with the Hispanic Leadership Network nearly two years ago, and at a time when he was answering questions from Univision. He also made related comments at a Faith and Freedom event.

In one video, Bush says, “I’ve never felt the sins of the parents should be ascribed to the children. If your children always have to pay the price for those decisions they make, how fair is that? For people that have no country to go back to … it’s ridiculous to think there shouldn’t be some accelerated path to citizenship.”

And in a published report at the Blaze, dated 2013, he said, “Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.”

Tuesday’s CNN report said Bush’s immigration remarks were shocking to conservatives.

“As he moves towards a probable presidential run, and the far less friendly terrain of the GOP primary fight, the comments, which were shared with CNN by Democratic tracking firm American Bridge, are certain to deepen already developing headaches for him – on both the left and especially the right, as conservatives react in a mixture of bewilderment and eye-rolling when confronted with some of Bush’s resurfaced lines on immigration,” the report said.

Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told CNN the comments weren’t a change, because the governor “has been extraordinarily clear that we need to address the border crisis by fixing our broken immigration system. Border security is a key and chief component of sustainable and effective immigration reform.”

On Wednesday, the Atlantic openly speculated, “Jeb Bush’s enthusiasm for immigration, even when the immigrants are unskilled, even if they break the law, goes so deep that he even sometimes ventures to suggest that the personal characteristics are to be preferred over those of the native-born. … He seems to think that there is some quality in the immigrants themselves that is more enterprising – more dynamic to use his favorite term – than native-born Americans.

“It is a negative judgment on native-born Americans.”

Bush has even suggested the key to restoring economically troubled Detroit is using immigration to “repopulate” the city.

“It just seems to me that maybe if you open up our doors in a fair way and unleashed the spirit of peoples’ hard work, Detroit could become in really short order, one of the great American cities again,” Bush said.

Read more at WND

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