Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday defended his use of the term "anchor babies" -- a potentially offensive term used to describe children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants. Democrats criticized him for using the term, and Bush became agitated at a reporter who kept pressing the question. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
CONCORD, N.H., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has taken a stern defense regarding his use of a controversial term to describe children of undocumented immigrants who are born in the United States -- "anchor babies."
During a radio interview Wednesday, Bush used the term while discussing immigration. Thursday, a reporter asked him if he regretted using the term.
"No, I don't. I don't regret it," Bush said sharply.
The former Florida governor became increasingly agitated with a reporter who continued with the question.
"Do you have a better term? OK ... you give me a better term and I'll use it. I'm serious." he shot back.
Democrats criticized Bush and fellow GOP contender Donald Trump for each using the term.
"How about 'babies,' 'children,' or 'American citizens,'" Hillary Clinton tweeted Thursday in response to Bush using the term. She then posted a subsequent and identical tweet in Spanish.
Bush subsequently said he doesn't believe the term "anchor babies" is offensive.
Curiously, Trump responded to a reporter Wednesday in nearly the exact same fashion Bush did.
"Give me a different term," Trump said.
"You mean it's not politically correct, and yet everybody uses it?" he added.
In submitting his plan for immigration earlier this week, Trump said he would end "birthright citizenship" for children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants. Bush has said he favors "birthright citizenship," but wants stronger enforcement of immigration laws so immigrants don't abuse it.