I doubt if this is really where Jeb Bush thought he’d be right now. If you get challenged about whether a term like “anchor baby” is offensive or not, you have three basic dodges. First, you don’t quite concede its offensiveness, but agree not to use it out of deference to people’s feelings. Second, you could just assert that it’s not offensive, period, and finally you could just be like IDGAF what those people think, I’m spitting hot truth over here.
Jeb can’t pick the first one, since he’d get <i>hammered</i>. He’s living in a Trump world right now, and backing down on anything even remotely PC related is about the worst mistake he could make. He also can’t go full nativist since he still hopes to win the general election. That sticks him with the middle option, the downside being that it forces him into a position of total absurdity.
Is “anchor baby” offensive? I’d say so, but then again, what right do I have to decide such things? White people can be immigrants too, legal or otherwise, but everyone knows they’re not talking about US, wink wink. The going assumption is that it refers to Latinos, what with all the recent border-touring and related political posturing. As far as I can tell, the consensus in that community is that yes, anchor baby is HIGHLY offensive.
The inherent absurdity of Jeb’s position is that it leaves him to argue “Well, *I* don’t find such a thing offensive, so therefore you are no longer offended by it.” That’s not how any of this works! The internal logic there only leads you to more stupidity, as seen in his latest masterstroke of “Frankly, it’s more related to Asian people.” See, now Latinos really CAN’T be offended any more — brilliant! Now they’re in the same boat as me, and no longer have the standing to take what he says personally. Way to really pull the rug out from under ‘em, Jeb.