Thankfully for the Republican Presidential candidates, Ted Cruz’s encounter with Mark Halperin, which demonstrated that Mark Halperin has little to no contact with the outside world, has dominated headlines this week. Otherwise, a few of them would be forced to explain some bizarre statements they’ve made.
Dr. Ben Carson kicked off his week by announcing that, while it probably isn’t helpful to call Barack Obama a psychopath, he’s at least going to put it out there that Obama could be a psychopath and let you decide for yourself. Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor and presumptive frontrunner for the nomination (right now, over a year and a half out of the process), announced yesterday that, if elected, he’ll promptly call a halt to any and all defense cuts and relieve America of the burden of Sequestration, which cut budget increases by just about 2% (though he did cut himself off before committing to restoring all Sequester-affected domestic funding, thankfully). And Jeb Bush, fresh off declaring that his brother is a foreign policy genius and has an active role in advising his campaign in that regard, has decided that, when it comes to his immigration policy, well, instead of listing one out, he’s just going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.
He may be a staunch critic of President Obama’s executive orders on immigration, but Jeb Bush wouldn’t rush to repeal them if he’s the next White House resident.
In an interview scheduled to air Monday night on Fox News, Bush suggested that he would wait until a new law was in place before overturning Obama’s actions.
Noting the political difficulty of repealing the orders, host Megyn Kelly asked Bush how he would go about undoing them. “Passing meaningful reform of immigration and make it part of it,” Bush answered, according to a transcript of the interview. The interview will air in full on The Kelly File at 9 p.m.
The quotes are framed oddly, so the central point of Bush’s proposal is a bit obscured. Basically, Jeb Bush will repeal Obama’s executive amnesty, which is a blanket override of the existing immigration system, if and only if you lot have a better idea. Theoretically, I suppose, this means comprehensive immigration reform that includes something similar to, but not exactly like, executive amnesty. Obviously, he’s right that we can’t marginalize people forever, and that something must be done, but I’m not certain that what he’s peddling is as palatable to the average voter as Jeb Bush thinks it is.
That seems to be a recurring problem with Team Jeb: that they’re trying desperately to either play off their more controversial viewpoints (at least, controversial among voting Republicans) as an affect of the times or a necessary evil, without fully explaining their candidate’s purpose in supporting them, or that they’re operating under the assumption that their views are shared by a “silent majority” who are nodding along with Jeb as he explains that a system in place is better than no system at all. Both are dangerous strategies to follow. One presumes that people will one day see the benefit of Jeb’s genius and counts on the future to prove Jeb right (and worse, before someone else secures the nomination), and the other presumes that anyone likes Jeb Bush to begin with. I would say that, with both, he’s taking a fairly remarkable gamble.
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