And, it is suspected, a bunch of xenophobic Iowa 2016 primary voters to court. Per Benjy Sarlin at TPM:
After years of building a reputation as the “good” Republican on immigration, Jeb Bush shocked the reform community on Monday by ruling out a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a position solidly to the right of prominent GOPers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The news stunned immigration activists and aides working on a bill and who have long insisted that anything short of citizenship is a dealbreaker for reform — especially given that Bush was decisively in the pro-citizenship camp just months ago. It also was a head scratcher for political observers, giving Bush an unexpected opening in 2016 to attack not only Rubio, but several possible presidential candidates, as overly liberal on immigration reform…
Other reform activists expressed their puzzlement at Bush’s 180-degree turn, which also put him to the right of his brother, former President George W. Bush, who backed a path to citizenship as part of his failed 2006-2007 effort to pass a bipartisan reform bill. Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, pointed out the reversal even put Jeb Bush to the right of Sean Hannity, one of several prominent conservatives who have come out for citizenship since the 2012 election….
But isn’t Jeb Bush married to a Mexican? ask the innocents. Yeah, well, Columba Garnica Gallo earned her American citizenship the
hard traditional way — by soliciting the protection of a white American man with a powerful family. IOKIYAR!
It’s too godsdamned soon to put up an Election 2016 category, but I guess the Repubs would rather talk about anything other than the way they’ve eviscerated their precious “brand”.