Gov. Jeb Bush rebuked a Colorado congressman who likened Miami to a "Third World country," and the congressman fired right back Tuesday.
Bush had responded to remarks made by Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo after the congressman criticized Miami's poverty and crime while attending an immigration conference in Palm Beach over the weekend.
Tancredo, a vocal supporter of the anti-illegal immigration movement in the House, made the comments to WorldNetDaily, a conservative online news site.
"Look at what has happened to Miami. It has become a Third World country. You just pick it up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you're in the United States of America," Tancredo said.
Bush, who will move to Miami after vacating the governor's office, said in his letter, "Miami is a wonderful city filled with diversity and heritage that we choose to celebrate, not insult."
Late Tuesday, Tancredo responded, defending his view.
"I certainly understand and appreciate your need and desire to try and create the illusion of Miami as a multiethnic 'All American' city. Indeed sir, one of us is naive," he wrote.
He said a growing number of Miami residents don't speak English, one of the few things that holds Americans together.
Bush said he was disheartened by the "disparaging comments" and touted the city's diversity as a reason Florida leads the nation in job growth. He said crime in the city has dropped every year since 1999.
"Perhaps your naive comments served as a good reminder for everyone to lessen the anger, frustration and emotion surrounding the issue of immigration," Bush said. "Overheated rhetoric won't solve this issue. We need a ... solution that will require cooler heads to prevail."