Jeb Bush Breaks With Most Other Republicans On Refugee Policy
Jeb Bush seems to split with nearly all of the Republican Governors in the United States, and most of his fellow candidates for President, Jeb Bush told Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin that the United States shouldn’t bar Syrian refugees regardless of religion absent any evidence for concern:
Jeb Bush said he wouldn’t ban Syrian refugees from entering the United States, separating himself from most Republican governors and his party’s presidential field as he pitched himself as the most experienced candidate running for the nomination.
“The answer to this is not to ban people from coming,” Bush said Tuesday in an interview with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann for Bloomberg Politics’ With All Due Respect. “The answer is to lead, to resolve the problem in Syria.”
Attacks in Paris on Friday that killed or injured roughly 500 people have become a political issue in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, as candidates call for the U.S. government to shut the doors to Syrian refugees, saying terrorists might infiltrate the ranks of the displaced. More than 20 Republican governors are seeking to halt the flow of Syrian refugees to their states.At the Robert Mills House and Gardens in Columbia, South Carolina, Bush stressed the United States shouldn’t allow in refugees “if there’s any kind of concern.”
“But I don’t think we should eliminate our support for refugees,” Bush added. “It’s been a noble tradition in our country for many years.”
This is slightly different from what Bush said on Sunday when he suggested that refugee policy should concentrate on assisting Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, although to be fair he did not say that we should not accept Muslim refugees at all. Also, but noting that we should make sure that there isn’t any type of “concern,” Bush is addressing the security concerns that have been raised in the wake of the Paris attacks. For the most part, though, this is quite a different stand from the one that most Republicans are taking, so it’s going to cause Bush to stand out and it may end up hurting him politically with Republican voters. For that reason alone, while I don’t often agree with former Governor Bush and he hasn’t exactly run the most impressive Presidential campaign I’ve ever seen, he does deserve some credit for not letting himself get dragged into the fearmongering, pandering and xenophobia motivating many of his fellow Republicans.