Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush needs to develop a better explanation of his views on immigration should he survive his likely bid for the White House in 2016, said The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza.
In "The Fix"
politics blog, Cillizza highlights a speech Bush delivered Friday in which he appeared to suggest on the one hand that there should be a path to legal status for immigrants, while at the same time finding a way to locate and deport others.
"We need to find a way, a path to legalized status for those that have come here and have languished in the shadows. There's no way that they're going to be deported — no one's suggesting an organized effort to do that. The cost of that would be extraordinary," Bush said during the first part of the speech.
But later in the remarks, Cillizza pointed out the a contrast when Bush said: "The 40 percent of the people that have come illegally came with a legal visa and overstayed their bounds. We ought to be able to find where they are and politely ask them to leave."
Cillizza said that while at first blush the two statements appear to be contradictory, his position is nuanced in that he appears to be trying to differentiate between people who came to the country on legal visas and broke the law by overstaying, versus those who entered the country illegally.
The problem, Cillizza said, is that it is not appropriate to make "a very nuanced argument on an issue that has become, politically, an absolutely black and white issue," and the attempt to do so "speaks to the difficulty of his promised 'adult conversations' on big issues."
"The evening news, Twitter and the cable world aren't going to run a five-minute, unedited clip that allows him to address the full nuance of his position…Bush, in the context of a political campaign, is not going to be allowed to get away with comments like these within a few minutes of one another," he wrote.
He noted that both Republican opponents and Democrats will attempt to capitalize on such an approach to his political detriment.
"No matter what kind of campaign Jeb wants to run, he needs to understand that the modern campaign won't be bent to his will. He might be able to have more 'adult conversations' than someone with less standing in the party, but he won't be immune to the gotcha nature of the process these days," he said.
"Bush will either realize that fact and play more by the rules of the game or face the (likely negative) consequences."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.