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Mitch Perry Report for 5.5.15 — Hillary Clinton takes on Jeb and the GOP on immigration

Hillary Clinton is in Las Vegas Tuesday, where she will reportedly call for a path to citizenship for the about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

That would revive the 2013 legislation 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 told 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 Democrats fear Bush becoming the GOP nominee is because of concern he could be the best Republican to snare Latino votes. As has been well documented, Mitt Romney received only 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, as compared with 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 to Bush on immigration.

In a Q&A with National Review editor Rich Lowry this past 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 whomever 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.

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Longtime veteran consumer TV reporter Eric Seidel says that over the years, local residents have inquired about him running for 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 Monday 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 Monday by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which earns raspberries from the Florida Progressive Caucus.

• • •

And Plant City Republican Josh Burgin is leaving HART and the Tampa Bay area next month to pursue his adult education at the Harvard School of Government.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was 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 and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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