His outspoken support for immigration reform already is making former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush an easy target in his run for the 2016 GOP nomination.
American Bridge 21st Century
(AB), which defines itself as a "progressive research and communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions," has been rounding up videos of Bush making statements supporting immigration, seen as an ideological departure from the GOP, and posting them on YouTube.
CNN notes that
, taken together, the videos have shocked conservatives, quoting South Carolina political operative Hogan Gidley as saying, "Those are definitely not helpful for Mr. Bush" and conservative group ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell as saying, "That thinking is utterly contrary to what grassroots Republicans believe. He is reflecting the viewpoint of the Chamber of Commerce and big business.
"Watch for his opponents to smack him in the mouth all primary season long with his own words."
Bush comments in one video, "I've never felt like the sins of the parents should be ascribed to the children. If your children always have to pay the price for adults' decisions they make, how fair is that?
"For people who have no country to go back to, which are many of the Dreamers, it's ridiculous to think that there shouldn't be some accelerated path to citizenship."
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In yet another, Bush states that Detroit should be "repopulated" with immigrants.
"It just seems to me that maybe if you open up our doors in a fair way and unleashed the spirit of peoples' hard work, Detroit could become in really short order one of the great American cities again.
"Now it would look different. It wouldn't be Polish, but it would be just as powerful, just as exciting, just as dynamic. And that's what immigration does and to be fearful of this, it just seems bizarre to me."
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In a speech Wednesday to the Detroit Economic Club, Bush said, "Immigration's not a problem. While the political fights are going on we're missing this opportunity.
"The American experience works when people embrace a set of shared values. You come, you work hard, you embrace these values and you're as American as anybody that came on the Mayflower," CNN reported of Bush's speech
AB spokesman Jesse Lehrich told CNN, "Maybe he doesn't realize how much has changed in the 13 years since he last ran for public office, but these days, the cameras are always rolling and flagrant pandering isn't a good look."
Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told CNN, "Governor Bush has been extraordinarily clear that we need to address the border crisis by fixing our broken immigration system.
"Border security is a key and chief component of sustainable and effective immigration reform," she said.
However, Matt Mackowiak, a GOP operative in Texas, told CNN the video onslaught "kind of pours gasoline on the fire among conservatives who don't trust Jeb on immigration."
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