April 8, 2014
It was an utterance worthy of “Bulworth,” a moment of straight talk from Jeb Bush that showed why the GOP donor class is so eager for the former Florida governor to run in 2016 – and spurred questions about whether, after 12 years out of office, he’s ready for the rough and tumble of today’s Republican Party.
Speaking at an event honoring his father, former President George H.W. Bush, at the elder Bush’s presidential library in Texas on Sunday, the younger Bush declared that many undocumented immigrants come to America as an “act of love” for their families and aren’t committing a “felony.” And, as if to cut cue up the outrage from the right that would follow, Bush acknowledged that his comment would probably “be on tape and so be it.”
The episode has lit up social media and highlighted the fact that Bush, who last ran for office in 2002, would have to grapple with a party that has become dramatically more conservative since he — and for that matter his brother, former President George W. Bush — last ran a campaign. It was the second time in roughly a year that Bush ignited controversy on the topic of immigration reform.