- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2016

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says Donald Trump is turning into a typical politician with his recent comments on illegal immigration, saying Mr. Trump is correct to try to reach out to new constituencies but that it’s anyone’s guess what he might actually believe.

“This is all a game,” Mr. Bush said Thursday in a radio interview with WABC’s Rita Cosby. “His views will change based on the feedback he gets from a crowd, or, you know, what he thinks he has to do.”

Mr. Bush, who Mr. Trump repeatedly mocked as “low energy” during the GOP presidential primary contest, said Mr. Trump is now turning into what the billionaire businessman is supposedly against.

“Sounds like a typical politician, by the way, where you get in front of one crowd and say one thing, and then say something else to another crowd that may want to hear a different view,” Mr. Bush said.

“All the things that Donald Trump railed against, he seems to be morphing into — it’s kind of disturbing,” he said.

“Shifting my views because … it’s political to do it — that’s what politicians do in this country, that’s what Trump is trying to do right now. I find it abhorrent,” said Mr. Bush, who has said he cannot vote for either Mr. Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

At a Fox News town hall this week, Mr. Trump said some illegal immigrants could pay “back taxes,” which is a policy piece proponents of comprehensive immigration reform often use in negotiations with more hard-line conservatives.

Mr. Trump, who has campaigned on a platform of cracking down on illegal immigration, also took a few impromptu polls of the Texas audience to get a sense of what they wanted to hear.

He did say there would be no pathway to citizenship and “no amnesty.”

“There’s no amnesty, but we work with them,” Mr. Trump said.

But some have pointed out similarities between Mr. Trump’s recent rhetoric and Mr. Bush’s plan, which calls for a path to legal status but not citizenship.

“Pleased to see @realDonaldTrump embrace @JebBush’s immigration plan,” former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor tweeted Thursday.

Mr. Bush said with a laugh that he’s sure he influenced Mr. Trump’s position.

Mr. Bush did say that Mr. Trump’s outreach to new constituencies for the GOP is the right thing to do, if it’s sincere.

“I’m happy he is making efforts to reach out to constituencies that Republicans have ignored,” he said. “I think that’s a very healthy thing for our party. It’s a smart thing for him to do, if it’s sincere.”


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