Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's controversial comment about illegal immigrants entering the country as "an act of love" has been misinterpreted, The Washington Post's conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says.
"He said we have to get control of our borders, it should be illegal to come here in an unauthorized fashion, but at the same time we can have a measure of empathy and understand the motivation for these people," Rubin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Understanding the motivation and being sympathetic towards the plight of these people does not necessarily dictate the result.
"If you remember, in his book, he was much more conservative than the United States Senate, for example. He doesn't want to get people citizenship. He's in favor of only naturalization.''
Rubin, who writes the Post's "Right Turn" blog, says people wrongly concluded that Bush wants to grant amnesty "to everybody because he feels sorry for people."
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But, she added, "I think he's simply talking about a measure of empathy, how we treat the people who are already here, making sure the conversation is respectful ...
"That we understand there is a major, major difference between the large majority of people who do come to better their life and the small number of really bad apples who we need to separate and send back."
Rubin said the flap shows that Bush, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, is not used to "operating in this 24/7 media."
"If he doesn't learn to speak with a little bit more precision … he's going to have a tough time. We'll see if he decides to run or not, that'll be another day."
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