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Flip flopping Jeb Bush accuses Walker of flip-flopping

AP_jeb_bush_scott_walker_split_jt_150315_16x9_992Obviously worried about Scott Walker’s broad appeal to Republican voters, Jeb Bush’s campaign has been pushing out a narrative that Walker is a flip-flopper.

This is despite Bush’s long history of flip-flops during his political career. If Governor Bush wants to aim that accusation at Walker, it’s appropriate to take a look at the many times he himself has taken both sides of an issue.

Jeb Bush once called for building prisons and emphasizing ‘punishment over therapy’ for juvenile offenders. Today, he supports reforming the criminal justice system, arguing that incarceration can harden low-level lawbreakers into career criminals.”

Illegal immigration
In the past, he stressed using deportation to rid the United States of unauthorized immigrants. These days, he describes crossing the border illegally as ‘an act of love’ by migrant parents and supports a path to citizenship for those who have done so.”

  • Gov. Bush Supported A Pathway To Citizenship In 2012. “In an interview last summer with Charlie Rose, he made a clear declaration that he favored citizenship. ‘You have to deal with this issue. You can’t ignore it. And so, either a path to citizenship, which I would support and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives; Or a path to legalization, a path to residency of some kind,’ he said.”
  • By 2013, Bush Opposed A Pathway To Citizenship, But Instead Legal Residency. “Fast forward past the election. It’s now 2013, and Republicans are smarting from their losses and pledging to remake their platform into one that appeals more to Hispanics and other minorities. A bipartisan group of Senators is working on reform legislation that includes citizenship. But Bush’s book, which reportedly went to the printer in late 2012, split the concepts of citizenship and legal residency. And in print, Bush opposed citizenship and instead proposed ‘a path to permanent legal resident status.’ ‘Permanent residency in this context, however, should not lead to citizenship. It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences — in this case, that those who violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship. … A grant of citizenship is an undeserving reward for conduct that we cannot afford to encourage.’ Illegal immigrants, he and co-author Clint Bolick wrote, could return to their homeland and apply for citizenship through regular channels.”
  • After Immediately Being Called Out For His Change Of Position, Gov. Bush Went Back To A Pathway To Citizenship. “After immediately catching heat over the book — and how it conflicts with his past position — Bush began softening up. ‘We wrote this book last year, not this year, and we proposed a path to legalization, so anybody that had come illegally would have immediately a path to legalization,’ Bush said on MSNBC. He added: ‘If you can craft that in law, where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally, I’m for it. I don’t have a problem with that.’”
  • Gov. Bush Even Admitted “I Have Supported Both – Both A Path To Legalization Or A Path To Citizenship.” “He told CNN: ‘I have supported both — both a path to legalization or a path to citizenship — with the underlying principle being that there should be no incentive for people to come illegally at the expense of coming legally.’”

Gay Marriage
Bush used to be strongly against same-sex marriage. Not so anymore.

  • “It wouldn’t be the first time Bush had changed his position on LGBT issues. When he was running for governor of Florida in 1994 as a right-wing crusader, he wrote an op-ed in the Miami Herald arguing that LGBT people should not receive specific legal protections: ‘We have enough special categories, enough victims, without creating even more… [Should] sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is No.’”
  • In January Of 2015, A Spokeswoman Said This “Does Not Reflect Gov. Bush’s Views Now.” “When BuzzFeed News reported on the article in January, Bush’s spokeswoman moved quickly to disown it, saying it ‘does not reflect Gov. Bush’s views now.’”
  • Was this purely a political move? “If the statement seemed to represent a change of heart over the past two decades, it also reflected the political calculus of Bush’s message man, Mike Murphy. In a Time column just after the 2012 election, he wrote of the GOP’s electoral problems, ‘We repel younger voters, who are much more secular than their parents, with our opposition to same-sex marriage and our scolding tone on social issues.’”


Gov. Bush Flip Flopped On Drilling While Governor. “Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he supports federal legislation allowing drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico — including areas where he aggressively fought energy exploration just four years ago. … Not too long ago, the governor joined these same critics in staunchly opposing oil and gas drilling even beyond the 125-mile mark. In 2001, he strongly lobbied his brother, President Bush, to significantly scale back drilling in an energy-rich area called Lease Sale 181, which sits more than 200 miles west of Tampa. ‘As a result, there will be no new drilling in the Lease Sale 181 Area off the coast of Florida under my watch,’ Gov. Bush proudly stated in a news release July 6, 2001. The current legislation that Bush is helping to shape would allow drilling in Lease Sale 181, which is off-limits to oil and gas exploration until 2007.”

From Newt Gingrich conservative to “nuanced”.

“Over the past two decades, Mr. Bush has shifted from a doctrinaire and, in his word, ‘headbanging’ version of conservatism, forged in the crucible of Newt Gingrich’s revolt-driven Republican Party, to a more nuanced approach, one influenced, colleagues said, by his immersion in the multiculturalism of Florida and his adoption of the Catholic faith.”

His Friends And Advisors Said He Began To Change After Losing An Election.

“Friends, advisers and outside analysts said the deepest transformation had occurred after his stinging loss in the 1994 race, even as the Republican Party achieved victories so sweeping that it took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.”

While Bush’s campaign lobs the “flip-flop” label at his opponents, the public should look at Bush’s changes as an example of him “learning more”, according to Bush’s friends.

“‘There Is An Evolution In Temperament And An Evolution In Judgment And An Evolution In Wisdom — And There Is An Evolution In His Respect For Others’ Point Of View,’ Said Al Cardenas, A Longtime Friend Who Insisted That Mr. Bush Had ‘Not Changed His Conservative Values.’”

“Mr. Bush ‘Does Not Flip-Flop,’ Mr. Defoor  [A Top Advisor To Then Gov. Bush] Said. ‘He Learns. When He Learns, He Changes.’”

I will support whoever our nominee turns out to be. It will surely be a better choice than Hillary Clinton. But in my mind right now, Walker is the better candidate. If Governor Bush’s campaign wants to start calling Governor Walker a flip-flopper, perhaps he should look at his own record as well.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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