A former aide in the George W. Bush administration says ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was "flat wrong" to give illegal immigrants a free pass by insisting their entry into the United States was an "act of love,'' not a crime.
"I have the utmost respect for Gov. Bush, I do. He's flat wrong on this issue," Ron Christie told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
At an event honoring his father, former President George H.W. Bush, in Texas, Jeb Bush said immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally are often trying to help their families in ways they couldn't back home.
"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love, it's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said.
Christie, who served as a deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for domestic policy and later as a special assistant to President George W. Bush, says Jeb Bush's "act of love" remark glosses over one major issue.
"We're not merely talking about people coming here out of an 'act of love,''' Christie said.
"We're also talking about terrorists who come into our country over the border, we're talking about drug smugglers, we're talking about all sorts of really evil criminal activity.
"Gov. Bush . . . the fact that you seem to equate people coming over and breaking our rules of entry [with] some sort of act of compassion and love . . . [that] I just strenuously disagree with. Where are you going to draw the line?"
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Christie acknowledged that his criticism would not likely go over well with the Bush family.
"Hopefully, this isn't getting me kicked off President Bush's Christmas list," he said.
Speaking about Democratic attacks on George W. Bush and Cheney over interrogation techniques that were used on terror suspects, Christie, now a columnist for The Daily Beast, said it is all about politics.
"This is all about election-year politics, and it's all about the Democrats trying to find a boogie man in this case . . . in the attempt to scare the electorate in advance of a blowout, which is coming to the United States Senate for the Democrats," Christie said.
He criticized Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has compiled a report said to be critical of the CIA's use of torture.
"[It] looks like what it is, which is a smear job, and it's disgraceful and disgusting," Christie said.
"The fact of the matter is that these enhanced interrogation techniques not only prevented acts of terror here in the United States; there were indications that we were also able to prevent acts of terror abroad with our allies.
"The fact of the matter is that the administration can try to whitewash away very credible threats that still remain in this country and around the world by terrorists."
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