A day after a firestorm over GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush's use of the word "anchor baby", his son George P. Bush told a major Spanish-language news organization his father will "pivot" from "loaded" terms like "anchor baby" and focus on the country's complicated issues.
In an interview with La Opinón, George P. Bush said that "especially on the immigration issue, words can be loaded."
"My dad is going to pivot away from this use of loaded terms and focus on the complicated issues that face our country as opposed to other candidates," the younger Bush told La Opinión.
Bush is scheduled to be on the Texas-Mexico border Monday.
He insisted his father has not adopted use of the term anchor babies, and that when he used it in a radio interview, he was referring to it as one commonly used.
The elder Bush was grilled by reporters Thursday about his use of the phrase anchor babies, which is considered pejorative and is often used to refer to U.S. citizens whose parents were in the U.S. illegally when they were born. It also has been used to describe U.S. citizen children of legal immigrants.
Bush was asked whether he regretted using the term. He said he did not and that he was not using the term as his own language but mentioned it as a phrase commonly used by others. But he dismissed using a more wordy description of this group of American citizens.
The anchor baby term was thrown out on the 2016 presidential campaign trail by Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He is proposing to repeal the 14th Amendment, which deals with birthright citizenship. Trump has insisted he would keep using anchor baby and said suggestions that it is offensive are simply political correctness.
Bush has said he supports protection of birthright citizenship. He
George P. Bush insisted his father will do well in the primaries and general election among Hispanics "and it's not because he's pandering, but because he has an agenda that appeals to all communities."