Conservatives are taking comments made by former President George W. Bush out of context to fan opposition to the current immigration reform bill, writes The Huffington Post's Jon Ward on Friday.
Ward attended Bush's third annual Warrior100K mountain bike ride in Crawford, Texas, where he writes that Bush had "a warning about the party's mad dash for immigration reform."
"The right reason is it's important to reform a broken system. I'm not sure a right reason is that in so doing we win votes," Bush told the Huffington Post. "I mean when you do the right thing, I think you win votes, as opposed to doing something that's the right thing to win votes. Maybe there's no difference there. It seems like there is to me, though."
Ward noted how quickly media outlets and blogs on the right misconstrued Bush's comment, and clarified that the president does indeed support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants:
The Washington Examiner picked up on Bush's comments and wrote in their headline that Bush was "skeptical of current immigration push." The Drudge Report posted the Examiner story. And on Thursday evening, Breitbart News wrote a similar piece to the Examiner's, with the headline: "George W. Bush Skeptical of Senate's Immigration Bill." The Heritage Foundation, which has been a leading voice in opposition to the current legislation, tweeted out the Breitbart story.
Bush made clear in the interview at his Texas ranch, however, that he remains in favor of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which is one of the thorniest issues in the reform push for some on the right, along with the border security component. Bush also said fixing the immigration system was the right thing to do because the current system is "inhumane."
"I mean we ought to be doing it. One, it's right. Two, because the system is broken," Bush said. "It's a system rife with corruption and the corruption being smugglers bringing individuals to do jobs Americans won't do. And it's, to me it's an inhumane system."