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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Harry Reid: Jeb Bush not a leader on immigration. Rubio is.



Jeb Bush managed today to get beat up by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.

A day after his new book sent shockwaves through delicate work on comprehensive immigration reform, the former Florida governor was a figure of disappointment and scorn.

“Let’s wait for a few minutes and see how Jeb Bush changes his mind again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scoffed during his weekly news conference. “His opinion on immigration is not evolving; it’s devolving. He keeps going backwards. I think, frankly, he’s made a fool of himself in the last 24 hours.”

Reid went on: "Frankly, on this issue, I don’t think Jeb Bush is a Florida leader. I think Marco Rubio is. Bush has been elected to nothing lately. Rubio is the leader on immigration."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican helping to craft a bipartisan immigration bill, told reporters that Bush has a great voice on immigration” but "I just think this proposal caught me off guard, and it undercuts what we're trying to do."

Sen. John McCain was more diplomatic, praising Bush but contending a bill that includes a path to citizenship is on track, if border security measures are included.

It's not clear how Bush's comments could affect the debate, but Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said the tougher approach to citizenship "be on the table."


[Last modified: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:52pm]


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