Washington (CNN)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday took a shot at fellow GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush's response to the use of the term "anchor babies," which many say could alienate Hispanic voters.
Chris Christie accuses Jeb Bush of 'pandering' on anchor babies
Christie suggested Tuesday night on Fox News that Bush was "pandering" by downplaying his use of the term to reassure Hispanics, instead winding up criticizing Asians, Christie said.
"I mean, the fact is that you don't need to be pandering to one way or the other. I'll tell you the way you don't do it: You don't do focus group-tested trips to the border, speak Spanish and then, you know, criticize Asians," Christie said.
Defending his use of the term on Monday, Bush said "frankly it's more related to Asian people."
Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell later said Bush was referring to the "birth tourism" practice, which has become a target of federal investigations.
Christie instead suggested dealing with the immigration problem "directly" with modern and realistic solutions -- avoiding the divisive rhetoric Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has spewed.
"I don't think that's the way you do it. I don't think you do it by doing policies that come out of the 1990s. You know, you need to deal with this problem directly. Say to the American people, 'Listen we've got a problem the first thing we need to do is to secure the border and fix it.' Once you do that you're not adding to the problem. Then let's have a conversation about how you deal effectively with the people who are in this country," Christie said.