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Mitch Perry Report for 5.5.15 –Hillary Clinton takes on the Jeb & the GOP on immigration

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Hillary Clinton is in Las Vegas today, where she will reportedly call for a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., reviving the 2013 legislation that was co-sponsored by Marco Rubio in the Senate — before he walked away from it. She will say that the standard for a true solution is nothing less than “a full and equal path to citizenship,” a Clinton aide tells The Wall Street Journal. “She will say that we cannot settle for proposals that provide hardworking people with merely a ’second-class’ status.”

The speech may be interpreted as a jab at Jeb Bush, who in his 2013 book Immigration Wars, backed away from full citizenship for the undocumented. Bush said at the time that he would prefer that the undocumented be given permanent legal status rather than a pathway to citizenship.

There’s no question that one reason that Democrats fear Bush becoming the GOP nominee is because of the concerns that he could be the best Republican to snare Latino votes. As has been well documented in recent years, Mitt Romney received only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, as compared to George W. Bush’s 44 percent in 2004. Jeb Bush would bring that number closer to W than Mitt. So it’s no surprise that Hillary would want to get to the left of Bush on immigration.

In a Q&A with National Review editor Rich Lowry last week, Bush accused Barack Obama and congressional Democrats of not really caring about immigration reform, saying they prefer to use immigration as a wedge issue, because when they do, “we lose.”

“We always lose on the political argument,” he said. “And he always wins, or the Democrats always win….delaying this is what he wants.”

No doubt it’s good politics for the Democrats to call for what critics like Lowry call “amnesty,” though the Senate bill would have required the undocumented to wait a full 13 years to become a citizen (also pay taxes, learn English, etc). If Bush is the nominee, Clinton or whoever is the Democratic nominee won’t be able to take the Hispanic demographic for granted, and Clinton’s speech in Vegas will begin laying down that marker.

In other news…

Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton might be a dull presidential match-up, but there’s nothing inevitable about it, according to an interesting piece of history.

Longtime veteran consumer TV reporter Eric Seidel says that, over the years, local residents have inquired about him running to political office. After 19 years on WTVT-Fox 13 and five years running his own law practice, he’s decided to get into the game, announcing yesterday that he’s running for clerk of the Hillsborough Circuit Court — on the GOP ticket.

Nationally, former business executive Carly Florina made her big announcement yesterday morning that she’s a candidate for president. In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo, Florina said that gays don’t need the right to marry since they’re protected from discrimination by civil unions — which isn’t exactly accurate.

Patrick Murphy was endorsed yesterday by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which earns raspberries from the Florida Progressive Caucus.

And Plant City Republican Josh Burgin is ditching HART for Harvard, where he’ll pursue a master’s in public administration degree at the Harvard School of Government.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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