Jeb Bush on Wednesday joined the growing consensus among Republicans that parents should be required to vaccinate their children, weighing in on an issue that became unexpectedly controversial on Capitol Hill this week.
“Parents ought to make sure their children are vaccinated,” he said in response to a question after his speech at the Detroit Economic Club. He did not specify whether that meant the state should mandate vaccines.
After a long pause, he added, with exasperation, “Do we need to get into detail on that?”
“Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children are protected. Over and out.”
But for all Bush’s incredulity, the vaccine question sparked controversy this week when two potential GOP presidential contenders, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, expressed reservations about requiring parents to vaccinate their kids.
Christie said while he has his kids vaccinated, parents should have the ability to choose in some cases. And Paul was forced to issue multiple statements clarifying his comments, in a Monday interview, that vaccines can cause “profound mental disorders” — eventually going so far as to get a booster shot, and tweet out a picture of it, to prove he supports vaccines.