UPDATED Jeb Bush calls lifting Cuba terror designation a 'mistake,' Marco Rubio says it's a 'giveaway'
Jeb Bush, who last week basked in the hometown embrace of Miami Cuban-American hard-liners, stayed loyal to their cause Friday when he again denounced the Obama administration for removing Cuba from a list of terrorism sponsors.
"Neither continued repression at home nor Cuba's destabilizing activities abroad appear sufficient to stop President Obama from making further concessions to the Communist regime in Havana," Bush said in a statement. "Today's news is further evidence that President Obama seems more interested in capitulating to our adversaries than in confronting them. Iran's leaders are surely taking note."
He went further, referring to the action as a "mistake":
"The removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List and the unilateral concessions to Havana, before it changes its authoritarian ways and stops denying the Cuban people their basic human rights, is a mistake," Bush said. "I call on Congress to keep pressure on Cuba and hold the Administration accountable."
Bush had taken a similar stance when lifting the designation was first announced. Congress had 45 days to try to block it but didn't try to do so. The change is effective as of Friday.
Sen. Marco Rubio, the other 2016 Republican presidential hopeful from Miami, has called the decision "terrible."
UPDATE: Here's video of Rubio from Friday criticizing the decision as a "giveaway":
Miami's three Cuban-American Republicans in Congress -- Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- also slammed the change in statements Friday. Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen have endorsed Bush, and Curbelo also seems likely to do so once Bush formalizes his candidacy.