Associated Press – Former Florida governor Jeb Bush spent Wednesday in in the vital swing state of Colorado, stumping for Republican candidates like U.S. Senate hopeful Cory Gardener and Bob Beauprez, who is running for governor. In the afternoon, he appeared with Gardner and Beauprez at Denver's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where he took questions from Spanish-language media about immigration.
Bush is fluent in Spanish and seen by many Republicans as his party's best candidate to reach out to the fast-growing Hispanic population, which is trending Democratic.
But the biggest waves Bush caused came in the evening, at a rally for the Republican ticket at a county fairground in the conservative Denver suburb of Castle Rock.
In a possible preview of a 2016 presidential race, Bush took a swipe at Hillary Clinton.
Without mentioning her name, he alluded to comments Clinton made while stumping for Democrats on Friday.
"This last week I saw something that was breathtaking, a candidate — a former secretary of state who was campaigning in Massachusetts — where she said that 'don't let them tell you that businesses create jobs.'"
Bush paused as the audience booed. "Well the problem in America today is that not enough jobs are being created, (but) they are created by business," Bush continued.
Clinton said the statement was a slip of the tongue, but Republicans eager to tarnish her image before 2016 have used it to mock her all week. Bush, a former Florida governor and a brother of former President George W. Bush, is one of many Republicans mulling a 2016 run.
Another expected 2016 Republican contender, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, will campaign with Gardner and Beauprez on Thursday.
Bush was in Colorado one day after former President Bill Clinton departed the state and a little more than a week after Hillary Clinton was last there — an indication of both the intensity of the state's Senate race pitting Gardner against the Democratic incumbent, Mark Udall, as well as Colorado's oversized role in recent presidential elections.
At the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Bush warned against President Barack Obama's expected executive action to limit deportations, promised for some time shortly after the election. Instead, Bush said Congress needs to pass a bill and that a newly Republican Congress would solve the nation's immigration woes — although the Republican-controlled House refused to vote on a major immigration bill this year.
"The constitution requires Congress to pass laws, not the president," Bush said in Spanish, contrasting that with some Latin American strongmen's ability to implement laws by fiat. If Obama acts unilaterally on immigration, Bush warned, "it will be harder to do it the appropriate way."