Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush warned America is “creeping toward multiculturalism” during a campaign stop Tuesday, and said he worries about areas where the assimilation process is “retarded.”
In response to a young woman’s question about how to empower immigrants as Americans, Bush said at an event at a Cedar Falls, Iowa diner that multiculturalism should not be the goal.
“We should not have a multicultural society,” Bush said. “When you create pockets of isolation, and in some cases, the assimilation process has been retarded, it’s wrong. It limits people’s aspirations.”
He said Americans’ national identity is defined by the “set of values that people share,” rather than race. Bush also said learning English is an important part of the assimilation process.
Bush warns against “multiculturalism,” which he says is antithetical to American value of assimilation. pic.twitter.com/XOELdQ7FmX
— Jason Noble (@jasonnobleDMR) September 22, 2015
“We’re creeping toward multiculturalism, and that’s the wrong approach,” Bush told the woman.
In the past, Bush has spoken in Spanish with supporters on the campaign trail, and has pushed back against Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s assertion that people in the U.S. should speak English only.
Watch the exchange, posted online by Democratic-aligned super PAC American Bridge, below: