It looks like Jeb Bush’s abandonment of his newfound opposition to a ‘pathway to citizenship’ is now complete. This (via Talking Points Memo) from his interview this morning on This Week …
During an interview for “This Week,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush told me that he was “in sync” with South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on the issue of immigration reform.
Graham, a key member of the bipartisan group of senators pushing for immigration reform, took Bush to task after the former Florida governor said Monday that he did not support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, which is a key component of the plan being pushed by the Senate group. Bush subsequently reversed course and said he could in fact support a plan that included a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the United States.
“Senator Graham and I talked. He was responding to concerns that were expressed before the book was actually published,” Bush said. “I told him that I support his efforts and I applaud what he’s doing. And he concluded, after he heard what the thesis of the book is that we’re in sync. We’re on the same — on the same path.”
Here’s the rest of ABCNews’ write-up.
This all comes after Bush stunned immigration reformers by pulling his support for what it widely considered the lynch pin of comprehensive immigration reform — a so-called ‘pathway to citizenship’. Later Bush conceded that he staked out this position when it was still the de facto GOP position before the November election but couldn’t change because his book announcing his new position had already gone to press before the GOP decided to get on board with reform.
Meanwhile, PolitiFact ruled a claim by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz that Bush flip-flopped on immigration “True,” writing:
• Early in his political life, Bush expressed a hard-line, deportation-driven opinion and made no mention of granting citizenship or legal status to illegal immigrants.
• Sometime between 2009 and 2012, he “flipped” to being in favor of a path to citizenship. He supported federal legislation in 2007 that allowed children of illegal immigrants to become citizens, and wrote frequently that Republicans should adopt a more welcoming approach. In June 2012, he clearly articulated support for a pathway to citizenship.
• His “flop” came this month with the release of his book, in which he explicitly opposed citizenship, calling it an “undeserving reward” for people who came here illegally.
• That was followed by a quick “flip” back to support of either citizenship or permanent legal status in the heat of television interviews.
Over the years Bush has said he favored citizenship or legal residency, demonstrating openness to proposals that could be considered within a wider reform effort. So at times he has embraced both, or either one.
There’s no doubt, though, that the Jeb Bush in the book had a different opinion from the Jeb Bush on the book tour. We rate the flip-flop-flip claim True.