Can you be a presidential candidate in 2015 and still use the term “anchor babies” to describe the children of undocumented immigrants who were born in the U.S.? If you’re on the Republican side, the answer is apparently yes.
During a radio interview with conservative host Bill Bennett on Wednesday, Jeb Bush used the term with the caveat “as they’re described” to perhaps distance himself a bit from the term, which is widely viewed as offensive by the Latino community and others.
Watch video below, via American Bridge 21st Century:
Hillary Clinton was quick to respond on Twitter, pointing out that in her world, children of immigrants are just called “babies”:
They're called babies. https://t.co/VyJJA26OVl
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 19, 2015
Later, Clinton’s campaign put out a new Spanish-language ad that accused Bush of echoing Donald Trump when he “thinks nobody is listening”:
What does Jeb Bush say about immigrant families when he thinks nobody is listening? The same as Donald Trump.
— The Briefing (@TheBriefing2016) August 20, 2015
Of course, if it weren’t for Trump, who made illegal immigration and Mexican “rapists” the cornerstone of his campaign, candidates like Bush likely would not have to use language like this to telegraph to voters that he can be tough on this issue too. When a reporter in New Hampshire asked Trump this week if he is aware that the term “anchor baby” is “offensive,” the candidate turned the moment into his usual attack on “political correctness.”
“You mean it’s not politically correct and yet everybody uses it?” Trump asked, before shouting, “I’ll use the word ‘anchor baby!'” (FYI, Trump, that’s two words.)
On Thursday morning, Fox News’ Bill Hemmer played that clip for Louisiana Governor and GOP candidate Bobby Jindal and asked him what he thought about the term. He immediately changed the topic and turned the issue around on Democrats, saying, “What I find offensive is Hillary Clinton, the left, when you look at those Planned Parenthood videos, they refuse to call them babies, they call it fetal tissue, they call them specimens.”
When Hemmer asked Jindal once more to answer his original question about “anchor babies,” he echoed Trump, saying, “I think folks today are too easily offended, they are too politically correct.” Jindal then added, “I’m happy to use the term.”
Watch video below, via Fox News:
[Photo via screengrab]
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