With ‘anchor babies,’ another distraction for Bush’s campaign

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Asian-Americans slam Bush for ‘anchor baby’ comment.

Jeb Bush seemingly stepped in it again with his remark this week linking Asians to “anchor babies” – triggering another cycle of cringe-worthy headlines on a topic he just can’t seem to get right. “‘Anchor babies’ is a slur that stigmatizes children from birth,” scolded the head of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Rep. A year ago — before he lost 30 pounds, raised tens of millions of dollars and announced plans to run for president — Jeb Bush quietly celebrated an anniversary.Former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has come under fire after he said it was “ludicrous” to describe his use of the term “anchor babies” as offensive to immigrants.

It was earlier this month when Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush not only went after Planned Parenthood for reasons he couldn’t explain, he also said publicly, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” A day later, the former governor said he’d strip the health care organization of funding, but would then “redirect those funds to other women’s health” groups.From the onset of the Republican presidential race, one assumption has been that his name, his heritage and his money would make Jeb Bush the establishment wing’s top candidate. He returned to Port Charlotte, Fla., a retirement community slammed in August 2004 by Hurricane Charley, a storm that launched a deadly two-year span of tropical weather while he was governor of Florida. “These hurricanes kind of etched my soul in many ways,” he told locals, adding later: “The most important thing that I’ll always remember was dealing with eight hurricanes, four tropical storms in 2004 and 2005, and doing it with the most dedicated, committed public servants and volunteers at the local, county and state level that you could ever imagine. That’s the loaded term that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has used to refer to U.S.-born children of people who come to the country illegally.

But as summer evenings cool and the nominating contest heats up, the former Florida governor is facing a real challenge for that spot from an unexpected rival — Ohio Gov. But immigration experts say the 2016 GOP hopeful was actually making a legit point – though he certainly wouldn’t win any style points for how he articulated it.

It was the greatest joy of my life.” For most Americans, the storm that stands out from that period is Katrina — which decimated New Orleans and plunged George W. The babies have automatic U.S. citizenship under the first section of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, something that Trump and other foes of high immigration levels decry.

That attempt to clarify his position has seemingly done little to mitigate the anger of immigrant groups, merely shifting the source of criticism from Hispanics to Asian-Americans. He said the practice of undocumented immigrants strategically giving birth in the US was largely ‘related to Asian people coming into the country’

Aides to Bush say he was referring to the so-called “birth tourism” trend, in which foreign women travel to the United States specifically to give birth so their child will be a U.S. citizen. As Bush has detailed his position — supporting birthright citizenship but concerned about the “birth tourism” industry that flies predominantly wealthy Asian mothers to the U.S. for childbirth — he’s been questioned more than the reality show star.

The reasons vary, from shortcomings Bush has displayed to Kasich’s ability to mix traditionally conservative stances with open-minded attitudes on issues such as immigration and gay marriage. Until now, the fixation of the media and the political community on billionaire developer Donald Trump’s astounding surge has overshadowed such jockeying.

As the Politico report excerpted above makes clear, Planned Parenthood provides “preventive health services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.” By some measures, as many as one in five American women have used Planned Parenthood’s health services at least once in their lives. But ultimately, the positions of the party’s more centrist hopefuls might well matter in next February’s New Hampshire primary as will the relative standing of more outspokenly conservative rivals in the prior Iowa caucuses.

His history with the storms will be the focus of a town hall meeting Wednesday in Pensacola, Fla., and comes at a time when he has slipped in recent polls behind Donald Trump among Florida Republicans — a once unthinkable occurrence. “We made a difference,” Bush said in a recent interview with The Washington Post about his experience with natural disasters. “And we got better as it went along. While Trump leads in New Hampshire, as everywhere, Bush has lost one-third of his support since March, dropping into a statistical tie for second in the Real Clear Politics average with Kasich, whose numbers soared after a $1 million advertising campaign and an appealing performance in the first GOP debate. Every time there was a problem you can’t anticipate.” Bush’s role during the deadly storms in Florida provides a sharp contrast with the presidencies of his father and brother, both of whom lost public support after flat-footed responses to hurricanes.

On Tuesday, Bush elaborated even further: “I was talking about a very narrow system of fraud in which people are bringing in pregnant women to have babies to exploit birthright citizenship.” Bush is describing a real phenomenon that has drawn concern from the Obama administration. Expert [on immigration] because someone put his name on a book, he doesn’t seem to have a better mastery of it than Donald Trump,” Krikorian added, referring to Bush’s 2013 book “Immigration Wars,” which he co-wrote with Clint Bolick. Because at this point, I’m afraid the only other alternative is that the Republican candidate knows Planned Parenthood works on a range of women’s health issues, and he’s deliberately telling the public the opposite. He said stricter enforcement of immigration laws would help resolve the problem and repeated his opposition to any move to deny U.S. citizenship to those born in America. But 24 hours after his initial remarks, Bush was still catching flack from both sides of the immigration maelstrom — including from the chief instigator of the immigration fight in the GOP primary, Trump himself.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think-tank that favors greater restrictions on immigration, has estimated that about 40,000 babies are born to birth tourists, most of whom legally enter the country, annually. Republicans have identified illegal immigration as a key topic for primary voters, but they want to avoid driving away Hispanic voters whose support they will need against the eventual Democratic nominee.

Still, Democrats continued to hammer Bush for the statements, indicating that the party considers him a more likely eventual Republican nominee than Trump, despite the real estate mogul’s lead in the polls. Meanwhile, an analysis by the Pew Research Center earlier this year found that 65 percent of Asian-Americans identified themselves as Democrats or leaned Democratic, compared to 23 percent, who identified as or leaned Republican. That makes Asian-Americans the second strongest constituency for Democrats behind African-Americans. “In 2013, Jeb Bush noted that Asian-Americans are the ‘canaries in the coal-mine’ for Republicans, meaning that Republicans should be worried about having lost Asian-American support over the years. His comments are getting widely noticed among Asian-American voters, and could hurt the GOP’s chances in the presidential election,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor at UC Riverside and immigration policy expert, told MSNBC. Fugate — who will travel with Obama to New Orleans this week to mark the 10th anniversary of Katrina — said in an interview that he is open to sticking around. “I learned a long time ago you never say never,” he said. “Governor Bush gave me my shot and allowed me to do my job and he supported me.

Mike Honda, D-Calif., who represents the nation’s only majority-Asian congressional district, called Bush’s statement “a slur against all immigrants.” In Colorado, many of the several dozen people at the town hall asked Bush about immigration. Chinese who do this tend to be well-connected.” Though the practice has been largely associated with the Chinese, birth tourists have also come from countries such as Korea, Turkey, Russia and Nigeria, Krikorian said. I could not ask for a better boss in that role.” Over two years, the storms caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage and plunged millions of Floridians into darkness for months. Bush spent most of his time commanding the state’s response from a conference room at an emergency management operations center in Tallahassee. “We didn’t anticipate that he would be there for a couple of months, but that’s kind of what happened,” said Deirdre Finn, one of Bush’s deputy chiefs of staff for emergency management. Bush, a self-professed policy wonk, talked at length in the Post interview about the nitty-gritty details of storm management — what he learned about residential building codes, how to reverse the flow of interstate highways, how gasoline is pumped into Florida, and how to open and close seaports.

He referred to last year’s influx of Central American youth, who received a special review of their immigration status under a 2008 law against human trafficking signed by Bush’s brother as president. Trump, more bluntly, said it showed Bush lacked “the energy for this job.” Meanwhile, Kasich, the two-term Ohio governor and former congressman, is filling the New Hampshire void created by lack of Bush enthusiasm (and New Jersey Gov. Though many conservatives opposed Kasich’s decision to accept expanded federal Medicaid funding and he, like Bush, favors the common core education plan and broad immigration reform, he has so far escaped serious conservative criticism. He stresses his congressional experience helping to balance the federal budget and Ohio’s economic growth while refusing to criticize Trump, explaining his generally positive approach in a CNN interview: “How are you supposed to feel about what you did, when you took time away from your family and your friends and all you did was play politics? “ On immigration, he wants to “finish the wall” against illegal immigrants but “legalize” the 11 million already here.

On Tuesday, before Bush’s event, Trump tweeted: “Asians are offended that JEB said anchor babies applies to them as a way to be more politically correct to hispanics. Though he once questioned birthright citizenship, he now supports it, declaring, “Let these people who are born here be citizens.” So far, Kasich’s reputation for being unfocused and occasionally arrogant has rarely surfaced though he caused one viral outbreak by saying, possibly humorously, that he favored abolishing lounges where teachers complained about their problems. I am so sorry for the massive inconvinience [sic].” He copied Fugate and other top aides to alert them of the problem. “How we doing on tarps?” Bush asked Fugate in an e-mail on Sept. 20, 2004.

He was present, he delivered the resources you would hope for, asked for the help that was needed and didn’t politicize it.” Michael Brown — who led FEMA during Katrina before being pushed out in the wake of the dismal response — said that Jeb Bush was one of the best-trained governors he worked with during his tenure. “I wish all governors conducted their business the way that Jeb did,” said Brown, who now hosts a radio show in Denver. “I always hated to say that, because people usually respond, ‘Well you say that and you guys were friends.’ That’s true, but he knew what his job was, I knew what my job was.” Brown said Bush has never sought his advice on emergency management issues or politics. “Let me answer that on his behalf: If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t ask me,” he said. “I’m toxic, you know that and I know that. In September 2005, as the country was reeling from Katrina and Florida was awaiting the arrival of Hurricanes Rita and Wilma, he e-mailed Fugate and Finn: “Are we ready for the next hurricane?” Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates.

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