Jeb Bush Does A 360 On Immigration Reform


I don't know if Jeb Bush is going to run for president in 2016 or if he's just out there hawking his book, but if he is running, as Digby noted, it appears he's a little out of practice, or overrated to begin with, in part due to the contrast with his brother. If he is running, he's doing his best to give Mittens some competition in the flip-flopping department right out of the gate.

TPM's Benjy Sarlin has been keeping track for us here: TIMELINE: How Jeb Bush Pulled A 360 On Immigration Reform:

Jeb Bush completed a whirlwind one-week journey on immigration on Sunday, praising a Senate proposal to grant eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants after attacking the idea in a newly released book he co-authored that was itself a reversal of his past position.

Bush’s experimental turn as a border hawk was so quick you could blink and miss it. Here’s a quick timeline of how the flip-flop-flip went down.

June 12, 2012
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Jeb Bush explains his support for eventual citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

“You have to deal with this issue. You can’t ignore it,” Bush said. “And so, either a path to citizenship, which I would support and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives; Or a path to legalization, a path to residency of some kind, which now hopefully will become — I would accept that in a heartbeat as well if that’s the path to get us to where we need to be which is on a positive basis using immigration to create sustained growth.”

Go read the rest but here's more just from this Sunday where Bush was out there doing a full Ginsburg.

March 10, 2013
Appearing on every major Sunday show, Bush all but completely disavows his position. He praises the Senate bipartisan group’s plan and says he called up Graham personally to tell him they were “in sync” and “on the same path” to reform.

“The basic premise needs to be that coming to the country legally should be easier with less cost than coming to the country illegally. And if you can create a system like that — as is being discussed in the Senate and in the House — through a path to citizenship, that’s fine,” Bush tells ABC’s George Stephanopolous.

In an interview with Fox News, Bush says “There’s not much light between what we’re suggesting in the book and what is being worked on right now, which is very encouraging.”

On CBS’ “Face The Nation,” Bush downplays the inconsistency between his book’s tough criticism of a path to citizenship and his apparent support for a Senate plan that includes exactly that. “Well first of all, I haven’t changed,” Bush says. “The book was written to try to create a blueprint for conservatives that were reluctant to embrace comprehensive reform, to give them perhaps a set of views that they could embrace. I support a path to legalization or citizenship so long as the path for people that have been waiting patiently is easier and costs less — the legal entrance to our country — than illegal entrance.”


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