Jeb Bush made an important distinction today regarding his opinion of “anchor babies,” the political hot potato currently being thrown around by people who would like to be our next president.
At a meeting with local leaders in McAllen, TX today, Bush was asked about whether he thought his stance on anchor babies—children of people who entry countries that grant birthright citizenship illegally, and a longtime conservative politician talking point—might endanger his ability to capture the Hispanic vote in 2016. Bush had told conservative radio host Bill Bennet last week:
If there’s abuse, if people are bringing—pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement …That’s [the] legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don’t have these, you know, ‘anchor babies,’ as they’re described, coming into the country.
A visibly agitated Bush responded today that we all need to “chill out” with holding him, a public figure who would like to be the leader of the free world, accountable for what he says:
What I was talking about was the specific of fraud being committed where there’s organized efforts—and frankly, it’s more related to Asian people—coming into our country, having children, taking advantage of a noble concept which is birthright citizenship. I support the 14th Amendment. Nothing about what I’ve said should be viewed as derogatory toward immigrants at all. This is all how politics plays. And by the way, I think we need to take a step back and chill out a little bit as it relates to the political correctness that somehow you have to be scolded every time you say something. It’s not fair to be taken out of context, but that’s the nature of politics. I just don’t think that this is appropriate.
We’ve reach out to Bush’s campaign for comment and will update if we hear back.