Jeb Bush talks GOP missteps, possible presidential run


(CBS News) Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has backed off previous support for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, saying such a measure would send the wrong message to those who immigrated to the U.S. legally, but he continues to push fellow Republicans to do more to court minority voters and women.

"I think this is solvable," Bush said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," dismissing claims that the Republican party is broken, "I don't think this is an impossible task. It wasn't long ago people were writing off the Democratic Party. Now, I think it's a little too premature to write off the Republican party."

Bush has released a new book, "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution," as lawmakers appear poised to grapple with immigration reform following the 2012 presidential election in which Republican candidate Mitt Romney garnered just 27 percent of the Latino vote.

Bush critiqued Mitt Romney's message to voters, saying "It was not an open message ... for a guy as good as he could have been as president, I think he got off in the primary ... to the wrong start and never really recovered."

"This is not a problem of Mitt Romney. Romney is a good decent man and I wish he was president of the United States today. It's a problem of ours, of the conservative movement and the Republican party."

The former governor's name has also been tossed into the ring as a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate and while Bush said he is "not ruling it out," he insisted, "I've decided not to think about it for a while and I have the discipline to do that. ... In the interim I hope to have a voice that I can share views that might be appropriate."

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Bush also criticized President Obama, telling Charlie Rose that Obama's legacy is "embedded" in the 2014 election and his will to get a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives. He said Obama is more interested in gaining a House majority "than in finding consensus among people of disparate views. He would rather have people of his view govern completely and carry out his agenda."

He added that leading in an atmosphere of overwhelming gridlock in Congress, the president should take a cue from history -- particularly from former presidents Johnson and Reagan -- and foster a "climate where consensus could be built ... Successful policy happens ... when presidents are engaged and lead. And this president is still campaigning."