OTR Interviews

Jeb Bush: Hillary Clinton's a 'third term of Barack Obama'

'On the Record' Interview, Part 2: GOP presidential candidate takes on critics who call his immigration stance 'amnesty,' reflects why Hillary Clinton singles him out and his take on battling the Donald Trump factor in the campaign


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 12, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Back with Governor Jeb Bush from the beautiful Reagan Presidential Library. This time we're talking immigration.


VAN SUSTEREN: Is immigration part of our national security?

JEB BUSH, 2016 GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sure it is, protecting the homeland is part of our national security.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you get criticized even within your own party for your views on immigration.

BUSH: Yeah. I think we should secure the border for national security purposes, for public health purposes, for the rule of law purposes. I've written a book about it. It's not like this is not new to me.

VAN SUSTEREN: They say amnesty when they say Governor Jeb Bush.

BUSH: Yeah. So if you say, for example -- my view is that we create a path to earn legal status where you pay a fine, you work, you pay taxes, you don't get federal government assistance. And over an extended period of time, you earn legal status, you don't earn citizenship. That's not amnesty. Amnesty is what we did in 1987. The alternative to that is self- deportation or rounding everybody up. The cost of that, according to the American Action Network, a conservative think tank, is something like $400 to $600 billion over 20 years. That doesn't sound like a conservative idea to me.

VAN SUSTEREN: If you're the nominee, how will you describe Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's foreign policy?

BUSH: I would say that it's -- if you want a third term of Barack Obama's, you're going to get it because she was there when all of this took place. And, you know, you can take loyalty up to a certain amount but she was there making these decisions. She pushed that reset button with Russia and it didn't work out. She was responsible for the Libyan policy that was an abject failure. She along with President Obama could have signed the forces agreement between Iraq and the United States that would have created stability and not allowed ISIS to exist. She was -- she was there with the red line in Syria that created such problems for the United States around the world. This presidency has failed in terms of its foreign policy and she will -- she will -- this is her -- what she's touting, that she has the experience of being Secretary of State.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's President Obama -- if she's -- if she gets President Obama's foreign policy, how do you describe his foreign policy?

BUSH: My foreign policy?

VAN SUSTEREN: No, President Obama's.

BUSH: I've just described it. It's one of vacillation, it's one of grandiose words with little to back it up, it's one where the military and the intelligence capabilities of this country have been gutted, and it's one that believes that American leadership is not a force for good in the world. And that is out of the mainstream of American thinking. We need to restore the bipartisan consensus that American leadership is essential to create a more peaceful world. In the post World War II era that has what has kept the world from falling apart, and American leadership continues to be indispensable in that regard.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you get the people of Iowa interested in foreign policy? In the new poll that came out, it's still Donald Trump winning post debate in Iowa. How do you get attention?

BUSH: Look, it's the long haul. I'm in this -- I tell people I'm the tortoise in the race.

VAN SUSTEREN: I thought you said your brother called you that?

BUSH: Because he read it that I said it and he wants to give me a nickname so he gave me the nickname that he knew that I would like.

VAN SUSTEREN: You like that one?

BUSH: I like it. I think you have to have the long view, slow, steady progress. We have a plan to get to the finish line as the winner in a way that will allow me to take on Hillary Clinton. Greta, the reason why you see the Clinton campaign and Hillary herself, Mrs. Clinton herself attacking me on a regular basis is they don't want me to win the nomination because they know I'll take it to them and that I'll campaign in a way that will bring people towards our party that long ago abandoned us. We've got to broaden out the party and I think I can do that.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know its interesting listening to you because I know that your families are close too. I know that your father and Bill Clinton are close. Yet people say in politics, they say unbelievable things about each other.

BUSH: Look, there's a former presidents club I'm not part of. I don't know the secret handshake so I can't speak to that. But I'm going to run hard and I'm going to run to win. I'm going to do it honorably. I don't think we need to be spending all the time tearing down someone, personalizing it. We've lived with this for far too long. Hillary Clinton is wrong about the issues. Her foreign policy is not the right one for this country. I have no -- I'm not ascribing bad motives for it, I just think she's wrong on the issues and I'm going to take it to her for it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, nice talking to you. Thank you, sir.

BUSH: Thanks, Greta.


VAN SUSTEREN: And you can check out behind-the-scenes from our interview with Governor Jeb Bush, just go to my Facebook page. Plus you'll actually see more of my interview with Governor Bush later this week right here "On the Record."