Jeb Bush Defends Use of Term 'Anchor Baby'

Image: Jeb Bush
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, talks to reporters following a town hall campaign stop, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Keene, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)Jim Cole / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Andrew Rafferty

Jeb Bush defended his use of the term “anchor baby” and continued on the offensive against Donald Trump while speaking with reporters after a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Thursday.

“If there's another term that I come up with, I’m happy to hear it,” Bush responded when asked if he thought “anchor babies,” a term used to refer to children born in the United States to noncitizen mothers, was offensive.

The Republican presidential candidate used the phrase during a radio interview on Wednesday. “They’re called babies,” Hillary Clinton tweeted in response.

Trump's immigration plan calls for ending birthright citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which he says encourages immigrants to enter the country unlawfully to have children.

"I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens," Bush said.

Bush also continued his offensive against Trump, who went after the former Florida governor when both held town halls in New Hampshire Wednesday night.

Trump said the crowd at Bush’s event was “sleeping.”

“If you went to the event, you would have found that there was a lot of enthusiasm,” Bush said, after calling Trump’s remark an insult.

Bush continued to attack Trump’s history supporting Democrats and some liberal issues, like abortion. He said Trump’s immigration plan, which calls for deporting the millions here illegally, is “going to cost hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Studies have shown Trump's plan to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented workers currently in the U.S. could cost as much as $200 billion.

“I have fought for Republican and conservative causes all of my adult life and I just think that when people get this narrative... Then they’re going to find that I’m going to be the guy that they’re going to vote for,” Bush said.