Former Florida Gov. Jeb may have made his controversial "act of love" remark about illegal immigration as a way to torpedo a 2016 presidential run and pave the way for Sen. Marco Rubio to enter the race, says Mickey Kaus, a columnist for The Daily Caller.
"[Bush] has this sort of haughty, elite attitude with 'I'll run if you want, but this is what I'm going to say,''' Kaus told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"[He] . . . knows that kind of puts the kibosh on his chances," Kaus said Wednesday.
Bush recently enraged some conservatives when he insisted that some some immigrants come to the United States illegally out of an "act of love" to financially help their families.
Some pundits say the statement has destroyed Bush's chances of gaining the Republican nomination.
"He's sort of taking himself out of the running, but with dignity," Kaus said.
"[He can] say, 'Well, I held my head up, I endorsed Common Core, I endorsed immigration amnesty, and those Republicans didn't want it, so . . ."
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What's more, Kaus says, Bush is making Rubio — one of the chief architects of an immigration reform bill under consideration — "look tough on enforcement."
"[It] helps his protégé Rubio, so there's an argument that maybe he's doing Rubio a favor, Rubio being one of the establishment choices for the Republican nomination," he said.
Kaus said House Speaker John Boehner was truly speaking his mind last week when he notoriously mocked Republicans who don't want to go along with immigration reform by imitating them in a whiny voice.
"The real Boehner is the Boehner that mocks Republicans for not wanting to do what he wants to do. He clearly wants to pass the bill," Kaus said.
But he added that Boehner's immigration push comes with landmines.
"Boehner is a little scared [that] if he has a huge Republican majority composed with a lot of tea partiers, they're going to be hard to control. They might not even elect him speaker," Kaus said
"Likewise, if all you care about is passing amnesty and you get a Republican Senate, you're probably not going to get an amnesty. So, the real pro-amnesty people don't want the Republicans to win the Senate and they don't want too big a majority in the House."
Is Boehner mulling a retirement? It's anybody's guess, Kaus says.
"Nobody knows what Boehner is thinking. Nobody knows if Boehner even is planning to retire, is planning to run again," he said.
"The conventional wisdom is he wants to if the Republicans win the Senate. He wants to see what he can actually accomplish."
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