- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 5, 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the Republican Party’s talked-about candidates for president, commented in an April 2013 video: Amnesty for some seems a sound idea. And now, some in the conservative camp are expressing shock.

His remarks, at a conference with the Hispanic Leadership Network and interview with Univision, included an expressed view that DREAMers — the children of parents who came to the country illegally — should have an “accelerated path” to citizenship and that it was “ridiculous” to think otherwise, CNN reported.

“I’ve never felt like the sins of the parents should be ascribed to the children, you know,” Mr. Bush said on the 2013 video. “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.”

He also commented that “it’s not possible in a free country to completely control the border without us losing our freedoms and liberties,” CNN said.

And one of his other suggestions: That the mayor of Detroit rely on immigration to “repopulate” the city, CNN reported.

“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,” Mr. Bush said in 2013, CNN reported. “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.”

Mr. Bush’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, said the 2013 comments aren’t that different from his previously stated views of immigration — and that he wasn’t dismissing the need for border security.

“Governor Bush has been extraordinarily clear that we need to address the border crisis by fixing our broke immigration system,” she said, CNN reported. “Border security is a key and chief component of sustainable and effective immigration reform.”

Conservatives, however, aren’t so accepting of the 2013 videotaped comments.

“Those are definitely not helpful for Mr. Bush,” said Hogan Gidley, a South Carolina Republican operative who’s provided advice to both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum for their presidential campaigns, CNN reported.

And Daniel Horowitz, the editor of ConservativeReview.com, had this to say: “I’m just reading this stuff — wow. This is insane. Honestly, I don’t take him seriously because of [comments like] these.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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