George W. Bush is out of step with the Tea Party, both of Texas’s Republican senators and the GOP leadership of the House and Senate. He is once again calling on Congress to enact a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He told ABC News’ This Week that the failure to enact immigration reform was one of the greatest disappointments of his presidency.
“I think it’s very important to fix a broken system, to treat people with respect and have confidence in our capacity to assimilate people,” Bush said.
He will have more to say Wednesday when he hosts a naturalization ceremony at his presidential library near Dallas and delivers a speech on the virtues of immigration. Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were two of the most outspoken opponents of the bipartisan immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate late last month 68-32.
Don’t look for Bush’s successor as governor of Texas, Rick “Oops” Perry, to be as progressive on immigration but instead to follow Cornyn, Cruz, GOP congressional leaders and the Tea Baggers.
Perry. 63, just announced he’s not running for fifth term, making way for another try at the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Asked about it on Fox News Sunday, he said, “Well, certainly, that’s an option out there.” In the meantime he intends to “pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path.”
Perry’s 2012 campaign peaked on the first day and went steadily downhill from there. If he decides to go for it again he will find that 2016 won’t be a return to clown alley; the competition will be a lot tougher and a lot smarter. But whatever Perry may lack in viability and smarts he compensates for with abundant self-confidence and ambition. When he’s ready to announce his presidential ambitions, look for him to reveal his plan for victory. As soon as he can memorize it.