Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush hurt his chances for the Republican presidential nomination when he said that people who came to the United States illegally did so as an "act of love," says former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.
"It suggests maybe he's a very nice man, but it does not suggest that he's going to be the kind of strong, tough president you're going to need if we're going to have borders of this country defended," Buchanan told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Kahn on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.
"So, he hurt himself with that," Buchanan said Monday.
He argued, however, that Bush leads the pack of establishment candidates, ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
As for who is leading among the populist conservative candidates, he contends that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum all have an "opening" and that it is "wide open" for either of those potential presidential candidates to rise to the top.
Story continues below video.
Buchanan also argues that it "would be very damaging" to Democrats if they decided to boycott the Benghazi select committee in the House, as suggested by California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff
"The suggestion would indeed be [that] the administration's got something to hide, and these folks are sabotaging the committee," he explained.
Buchanan also criticized House Republicans, however, for not being very "effective in these investigations," and said that House Speaker John Boehner "seems to have been kicking and screaming into doing the job here."
The former Republican presidential candidate said that the select committee is more likely to have an impact on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential chances than on Democrats in this year's midterm elections.
"This is potentially very, very damaging to Hillary Rodham Clinton," Buchanan said.
"The greatest significant action of the Hillary Rodham Clinton tenure at [the State Department] appears to be the Benghazi massacre of the American ambassador and those three security folks . . . and the subsequent cover-up of the fact that she's saying that she was somehow above and beyond all this."
© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.