Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not mince words on Tuesday when asked about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) stated opposition to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
"Let's wait a few weeks and see how Jeb Bush changes his mind," Reid told reporters. "His opinion on immigration is not evolving, it's devolving. He keeps going backwards. I think he's frankly made a fool of himself."
Bush had previously said he supported allowing undocumented immigrants to become citizens, but wrote with coauthor Clint Bolick in a new book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, that comprehensive immigration reform should instead allow only legal status. Reid supports a pathway to citizenship.
But the Nevada Democrat implied that Bush's opinions don't matter much anyway.
"Frankly, on this issue I don't think Jeb Bush is the Florida leader. I think Marco Rubio is," Reid said, referring to the Republican senator from Florida who supports a pathway to citizenship.
Although Bush has walked back his comments slightly, now saying he would support a plan but cannot think of one, his shift surprised immigration reform supporters, including from within his own party.
"He has been a great voice on immigration, he has been a good governor, understands the Hispanic community," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the bipartisan "gang of eight" working on immigration reform, told reporters earlier on Tuesday. "I just think this proposal caught me off guard, and it undercuts what we're trying to do."