Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on 20 August that he does not regret using the derogatory term "anchor babies" to describe American-born children of undocumented immigrants.
The GOP candidate took questions from reporters after a New Hampshire town hall meeting, who asked if he regretted using the term during a radio interview with Bill Bennett on 19 August. "I don't," he said. "Do you have a better term? Okay, you give me, you give me a better term and I'll use it. I'm serious."
According to the Huffington Post, a reporter asked: "Is that not bombastic?" To which Bush replied: "No, it isn't ... Give me another word. What I said was it's commonly referred to [as] that. I didn't use it as my own language. What we ought to do is — do you want to get to the policy for a second? I think that people born in the country ought to be American citizens. Okay? Now we got that over with."
During his radio interview, Bush said he disagreed with fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has called for an end to birthright citizenship. The former Florida governor said that while he did not agree with the GOP front-runner, he called for "greater enforcement" of the policy to prevent "abuse."
He said: "If there's fraud or if there's abuse, if people are bringing, pregnant women are coming in to have babies simply because they can do it, then there ought to be greater enforcement ... That's the legitimate side of this. Better enforcement so that you don't have these, you know, 'anchor babies,' as they're described, coming into the country."
The GOP candidate faced immediate backlash from Democrats. Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to hit back at the former governor, saying: "They're called babies."
Bush criticising Trump is a bit ironic as the bombastic GOP candidate also used the term "anchor babies" earlier this week. CNN reported that Trump declared that "anchor babies" are not American citizens. Despite being called out by ABC's Tom Llamas over his use of the term, Trump said he would continue to use it.