POLITICO reporter Eli Stokols has penned a great story on how former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tried to clarify his position on whether the U.S. should accept any Syrian refugees, as the question roils the GOP presidential race in the days following the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday.
The former Florida governor refused to echo the bombast of the current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who has vowed to “bomb the s**t” out of ISIL; and he wouldn’t go as far as Ted Cruz, who has introduced legislation to halt the influx of all Muslim refugees.
Bush articulated that he supports governors who want to halt the flow of refugees to their states. “I think they’re doing the right thing because they haven’t gotten any information about what the screening process is,” he said.
But he expressed openness to allowing some refugees, with women, children and Christian minorities given priority, to be given asylum by the United States as long as there is a thorough vetting process in place.
“It’s not our obligation to take in all of the challenges of the world,” Bush said following an appearance at Wholly Smokin’ BBQ here Tuesday afternoon. “We have a noble tradition of accepting refugees, but in this particular case, given the circumstances, I think there ought to be thorough vetting.”
Bush faulted the Obama administration for not being more transparent about what the process is for ensuring that the refugees who come to the U.S. don’t have terrorist ties. But he refused to rule out the possibility of taking in some moderate Muslim refugees, saying only that persecuted Christians should be given priority.