- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that a web video from 2016 GOP rival Donald Trump hitting Mr. Bush on immigration was a “complete mischaracterization” of his thinking — something Mr. Bush said was reminiscent of a “Washington politician.”

Asked whether he stands by his statement made last year that some illegal immigrants come into the country out of an “act of love,” Mr. Bush said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom:” “What I stand by is the fact that we need to secure our border, and I have a comprehensive plan to do just that.”

“I’ve talked to the governors on the border — I was a border governor because we have lots of immigration coming from the south,” he said. “I’ve talked to local law enforcement officers and people, and I have a plan to be able to secure the border — that’s what we ought to be focusing on, not grandiose language. Not mischaracterizing people’s views.”

The video from Mr. Trump includes audio of Mr. Bush’s “act of love” comments, with images overlaid of people such as Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez (identified as “Francisco Sanchez”), who has been charged in the July 1 murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco after having been deported five times.

Mr. Bush called the video “a complete mischaracterization of my thinking.”

“It’s almost as though Donald Trump is acting like a Washington politician — that’s what they do,” he said.

Mr. Bush’s campaign hit back with a video Tuesday that splices clips of Mr. Trump’s past statements speaking favorably about former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner, and describing himself as “very pro-choice,” among other things.

“The simple fact is our ad simply uses his own language, his own words to say he is more [a] Democrat than a Republican, that he’s for higher taxes rather than cutting taxes, that he believes in a single-payer system, that he’s not only pro-choice but believes in partial-birth abortion,” Mr. Bush said. “I didn’t exaggerate a single thing.”

Asked again whether he stands by the statement that some illegal immigrants come to America out of an “act of love,” Mr. Bush said, “Of course they do, but that doesn’t matter — what we need to do is secure the border.”

“We need to do it in a way that doesn’t cost hundreds of billions of dollars, as Mr. Trump has proposed, do it in a thoughtful way to create the rule of law,” he said. “People are angry because the rule of law is not being applied. I totally get that, and for six years now under this administration there hasn’t been the kind of commitment to the border that we need to have. We have sanctuary cities; we have serious problems. Let’s solve them.”

He said his candidacy “is about solving problems rather than just kind of brash rhetoric that’s not grounded in reality.”

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