Jeb Bush says undocumented immigrants should have path to legal status -- or citizenship if they're DREAMers
Jeb Bush maintained Wednesday that the families of the young undocumented immigrants who interrupted his presidential announcement Monday in Miami should be offered a path to legal status. But the young people themselves, he added, should have a path to citizenship if they were brought into the country illegally as children.
"There ought to be some recognition that we're not going to send them back to a country they know nothing about," Bush told ABC News' World News Tonight in an interview taped in Iowa.
The protesters who stood up and chanted during his speech Monday wore T-shirts that read, "LEGAL STATUS IS NOT ENOUGH!" Bush, who didn't plan to say anything about immigration, ad-libbed that "the next president of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform."
Bush has previously backed a path to citizenship, though these days he doesn't go that far and just calls for legal status.
In another part of the interview, Bush told anchor David Muir that he knows the campaign will be a long haul: "I'm a grinder. I'm really competitive. I'm really focused. I'm very disciplined. But it takes a lot of effort for someone who's introverted -- I admit I am."
President Obama has faced criticism for not doing enough to endear himself to other politicians, Muir noted. "It's work. It's required," Bush said. "That's not the president's forte."
Bush said he still plans to play with his grandchildren at home Sunday afternoons -- known as "Sunday Funday" -- and he confirmed an anecdote his son Jeb Jr. told CNN in an interview aired earlier this week about how Bush's wife, Columba, acceded to her husband's presidential run.
"She told a friend -- and then she told me -- that not allowing me to pursue this mission would be like telling a musician you can't play music," Bush said.