In an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday, former newly announced presidential candidate Jeb Bush proved he’s all about winning the Millennial vote in 2016 and his immigration stance just might help him do it.
Like 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney before him, Bush joined Fallon for the show’s popular “Slow Jam the News” segment the day after formally announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Miami, Florida.
“After months of being a total caucus tease, Jeb finally made up his mind and quit beating around the bush,” the host joked.
“I know we can fix the problems facing our nation,” Bush told the crowd. “I’ve already done it during my eight years in Florida.”
“Now that we’re talking about the issues, where do you stand on immigration?” Fallon asked.
Although Jeb’s stance on immigration may be a hard sell with the Right, it did garner thunderous applause from the Late Night crowd, which tends to be younger and more liberal.
“Well, Jimmy, we’re a nation of immigrants and I believe everyone should have the chance to achieve the American Dream,” Bush said. He then proceeded to translate what he said into Spanish for the show’s “Spanish-speaking viewers,” which prompted cheers from Fallon’s audience.
While Bush’s stance on immigration may have been a hit on the show, it hasn’t been received quite as well elsewhere. Protesters donning “LEGAL STATUS IS NOT ENOUGH” shirts were asked to leave his official campaign launch the day before, after their heckling prompted Bush to go off-prompter and address the issue — something he had originally planned to avoid in his speech.
“The next president of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform so that that will be solved — not by executive order,” Bush told those at his announcement as the protesters were escorted out.
#related#At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Bush faced a similar response to his immigration stance, when tea-party activists and Rand Paul supporters walked out on his Q&A with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in protest.
Although Jeb’s stance on immigration may be a hard sell with the Right, it did garner thunderous applause from the Late-Night crowd, which tends to be younger and more liberal.
While still in the exploratory phase of his presidential campaign, Bush would often recruit his son, Jeb Bush, Jr., 31, to help him engage with this demographic at events for his Right to Rise PAC. According to Politico, Jeb Jr. helped his father raise nearly $500,000 in small donations from young professionals at “impromptu, ‘pop-up’ fundraising events” earlier this year.
— Julia Porterfield is an intern at National Review, editor-in-chief of Red Millennial, and a junior at Regent University.