National Harbor, MD – He didn’t receive a wild reception, but nor was it merely polite. Answering a series of very direct questions from Sean Hannity before a packed house of conservatives at CPAC today, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush portrayed himself as a serious conservative while preventing his differences with his audience from inviting open hostility.
I think he would judge his appearance here a success.
Bush, whose views on Common Core and immigration are loathed by many conservatives, faced only minor, sporadic heckling as he sought to make nice with the right. He was frequently greeted with strong, if not quite wild, applause, and ended his question and answer session with a standing ovation.
Bush explained that his position was to “first and foremost, enforce the borders,” and he said that while he supported a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, they must first achieve certain milestones – learning English, and so forth. He refused to back down on his efforts to give illegals driver’s licenses and in-state funding, and he wasn’t booed for it.
The thousands of immigrants who flooded into the United States last year “should have been sent home at the border,” Bush said.
Bush sought to mitigate his past support for Common Core, asserting the education standards should never be set by the federal government.
Calling himself a “practicing, reform-minded conservative,” he affirmed that he favors traditional marriage, has rolled back affirmative action in Florida, and opposes marijuana use – although the states should be permitted to decide the matter.
Tellingly, though, when asked for the five things he would do first as president, ending Obamacare was not among them.