Jeb Bush Urges Clinton To Rescind Gonzalez Decision

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - President Clinton Friday refused to commit himself on whether he would rescind a decision made earlier this week by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) allowing 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez to return to Cuba to be with his father.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Clinton said, "I believe that they [the INS] followed the law and the procedures. This is a volatile and difficult case. Those who want to challenge it will have to follow the law and the procedures. I think that's the only way to do this. We need to keep this out of the political process as much as possible within the established legal channels."

Florida Governor Jeb Bush late Thursday sent a letter to Clinton urging him to rescind the INS decision on Elian Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, Vice President Al Gore, campaigning in New Hampshire late Thursday, said he is siding with Elian's Miami relatives and thus he appears to be at odds with his boss, President Clinton.

Speaking at a Manchester, New Hampshire news conference, Gore said the family's appeal of the INS decision to return Elian should moved out of the administrative law process and handled under "the due process normally followed for determining child custody cases. What are the best interests of the child? When that question is posed in other cases, courts competent to make that determination are given the responsibility for the decision. That's what I think ought to be done."

Reporters pressed Gore further about the Elian Gonzalez matter, especially in the wake of the demonstrations it spawned Wednesday in Miami .

"Let's see how it plays out," Gore said.

Gore then reiterated that the question would best be resolved on American soil:

"If the father comes to free soil and says -- without fear of intimidation, without the paid demonstrators hired by Castro chanting outside his window, without the full control of a dictator hanging over his head, but really in freedom without that intimidation -- and says, 'This is what I think is in the best interests of the child', then that settles the case," Gore said.