Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said that he supports “a path to earned legal status” for illegal immigrants, which represents a change in position he made “because the climate has changed. And this is the consensus view that allows conservatives to get in the game” in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.
Jeb said on immigration, “Well, Hillary Clinton has been flipping and flopping on immigration for a long long while. Here’s what I’m for. What I’m for is giving people a path to earned legal status, where they pay a fine, they get a provisional work permit, where they work, they don’t receive federal government assistance, where they learn English, and over an extended period of time they earn legal status. They don’t cut in front of the line of people that have been patiently waiting.”
He was then asked whether his view had changed, “It has changed, because the climate has changed. And this is the consensus view that allows conservatives to get in the game. Here’s the deal, Hillary Clinton would love to have it, just like Barack Obama, would love to have this be a political issue, election, after election, after election. They could have fixed it. They could have fixed it. When she was a senator, she could have fixed it. When he was president, his first two years, he had 60 votes in the Senate, and he didn’t do it. Why? because they use this as a wedge political issue. I’m going to be a candidate that’s going to reach out to Latino communities across this country ,and offer a lot more hope than what people have gotten in the last six years with this tepid economic recovery.”
Jeb added, “This view I’ve had for, what? Four years. This is a view that I had, that — I wrote a book about this, Bret. This is not a change from anything I stated in this book. You get a provisional work permit and you earn legal status. Doesn’t allow you to cut in line from people that have been patiently waiting, arrow the number of people coming by family, expand the number of people coming for economic purposes, and deal with the 11 million people in a just way, a way that embraces American values, but gets this solved so that we can grow our economy again and make it an issue that’s a winning issue for Republicans.”
Jeb also argued that Hillary Clinton’s press rope line was “bizarre.”
When asked about his position on Donald Trump, he stated, “I’ve already stated my views about Donald Trump. … I’m through. I gave my views. I just think that we need to be much more hopeful and optimistic about our ideology. We have the winning ideology, limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty, creates more prosperity and more advantages than any other form of political philosophy. We should focus on that, and not get into a food fight that only brings energy to someone who I doubt will be president and is not a constructive force for our party.”
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