To explain book flip-flop, Jeb Bush misrepresents Marco Rubio’s immigration position

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Jeb Bush continues to amaze and confuse. Not only is it weird that he flip-flopped on immigration himself, but now he’s spinning excuses — and seeking to undermine other Republicans, such as Sen. Marco Rubio.

As the Washington Post’s Michael Gerson writes today,

“It is really not surprising,” Bush told me. “The book was written last year in a certain environment. The goal was to persuade people against immigration reform to be for it. Since that time, eight of 100 senators have moved, and not much in the House.. . . When we were working on this, Marco Rubio wasn’t for a path to citizenship.”

(Emphasis mine.)

But that’s not exactly right, either. This CNS News story from April 3, 201211 months ago:

“There is nothing that prohibits them from getting citizenship,” Rubio told the Tampa Bay Times in an April 3 interview in which he explained his plan.  “We just don’t create a new pathway. The bottom line is they would have a visa of some sort and like they and any other visa holder in this country can get in line and apply for residency. You have to wait in line but you get to wait in line in the U.S. legally.”

(Emphasis mine.)

I’ve covered this story quite a bit. Yes, Rubio has argued that security ought to come before citizenship and that people shouldn’t skip line.

But as far as I know, his rationale has always been that it’s unwise and just plain wrong to create a group of people who were going to spend the rest of their lives in this country, yet never be fully invested in its future as citizens.

Jeb Bush’s idea that we should create a bunch of second class citizens is not only bad policy, but it would guarantee the immigration issue remains divisive.

Bush’s comments that Rubio somehow evolved on this issue while Bush was writing his book seem disingenuous, at best.

Matt K. Lewis