Does Former Florida governor Jeb Bush think that the United States should “pause” the influx of more Syrian refugees or does he think that Americans should remain open to accepting them?
Bush has struggled to explain his position Syrian refugees since the terrorist attacks in Paris, but his position is far from clear.
When asked about the issue on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Bush said many of the Syrian refugees were Christians and should be allowed into the United States.
“I do think we have a responsibility to help with refugees after proper screening,” he said. “And I think our focus ought to be on the Christians who have no place in Syria anymore.”
Widely misinterpreted by the press as suggesting that Bush wanted only Christian refugees to come into America, President Obama seized on Bush’s comments on Monday, calling a “religious test” for refugees “un-American.”
By Tuesday, Bush admitted that a religious test was possible, when screening refugees for security reasons.
“I mean, you can prove you’re a Christian,” he said. “You can’t prove it, then, you know, you err on the side of caution.”
By Wednesday, the Bush team clipped a video of Bush snarkily reacting to Obama’s Monday attack in an interview, saying he was “sorry” that he wanted to protect Christians.
“Mr. President, I just apologize if I really hurt your feelings on that,” he scoffed. “You’re wrong.”
On Tuesday, Bush steadied his position, expressing sympathy with people who didn’t trust the Obama administration to screen refugees properly, but remaining open to more Syrian refugees.
“We have systems in place — if there is any kind of concern, we shouldn’t allow people in. But I don’t think we should eliminate support for refugees. It’s been a noble tradition in our country for many years,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
By Tuesday evening, however, Bush waffled on his position, agreeing with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan for proposing a “pause” in refugees entering the country.
“There ought to be a pause for traditional screening to make sure that every governor – and the American people – know exactly how it’s going to be done,” he said, according to the New York Times, agreeing with Ryan’s proposal.
At this point, Bush appears to be in the convoluted position of supporting bringing in more Syrian refugees to America but also supporting Republican governors and leaders in Congress who are calling for refugee programs to halt.
But Bush further insisted on Fox News this morning that his position was “clear.”
“There’s no need for clarification,” he said defensively, as the host grilled him on his position. ”I’ve been consistent, I think that there should be a pause.”