Karl Rove now says he is sorry that immigration reform was not President Bush's top priority at the beginning of his second term rather than social security reform.
Speaking to The New York Times Rove said
" As I said in the book, (Courage and Consequences) I wish we had led the second term with immigration reform.
If we had led with immigration reform at the beginning of the second term we could have had bipartisan cooperation with a Republican majority in the House and the Senate and done something important for the country that was tilted more toward what the Republicans wanted but couldn’t have passed without Democratic votes instead of Social Security which Democrats wouldn’t participate in until they had a taste of victory.
Immigration reform would have given everybody a bipartisan victory and would have cleared the ground for entitlement reform."
Its all a bit late though and when Bush got an immigration bill put together by Senator Ted Kennedy and John McCain he seemed strangely disengaged from it and did little hard lobbying.
Perhaps the Republican right wing backlash warned him off, but there was no certainty that if Bush had embraced immigration reform at the beginning of his second term he would have achieved it