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Rebuilding Brand Bush with an eye on 2016

Is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush running for president?

Is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush running for president?

His surprise immigration pivot away from a pathway to citizenship has politicos buzzing about a potential presidential bid. It comes amid reports he is staffing up in anticipation of a 2016 run. Tuesday on NOW with Alex Wagner, the panel discussed what it means, both for Bush, and for the immigration debate playing out in Congress.

Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)--one of the "Gang of 8" seeking a bipartisan immigration deal in the Senate--said Bush's new position "undercuts what we're trying to do."

In his new book, Bush--who served as Florida governor from 1998-2006 and has for years been seen as an immigration moderate within his party-- writes "it is absolutely vital" that "that those who have violated the laws can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship."

"When you have someone like this who's been an outspoken advocate for a more humane series of reforms around immigration and he's sort of tacking back and forth, it really undermines the work that the Senate is doing to get some sensible immigration reform," Alex Wagner said.

Bush's about-face is being seen by some as an attempt to outflank fellow Floridian and possible 2016 opponent Sen. Marco Rubio, who has embraced a pathway to citizenship as an essential element of any Senate deal.