Jeb Bush and Donald Trump have waged a no-holds-barred war this week over a simple, two-word pejorative: anchor babies.
The slang term—referring to a child born to an undocumented immigrant mother in a country, like the United States for instance, that grants birthright citizenship—has dominated the GOP presidential field’s discourse, being exuberantly embraced by Trump while Bush has drawn heat for following suit.
Bush claimed his “anchor baby” reference was “more related to Asian people” and there is some truth to this distinction as federal agents have been forced to quell Chinese “birth tourism.” No matter: Trump used it as a means of attack.
So what then do Anchor Babies think of all this unsavory rhetoric?
That is, what does the Corpus Christi, Texas-based hard-rock band Anchor Babies think of all this?
“I think that the term—throwing around the ‘anchor babies’ name—it’s negative, but it’s good for the left,” lead singer Henry Flores told The Daily Beast. “That basically makes the case that the right will never win a seat in the White House, unless they cheat, of course.”
Flores, who is originally from Texas but has Mexican and Spanish ancestry, said the name for his band came from a desire to be provocative.
“It’s basically sticking it to the right; sticking it to the man. Whoever is afraid of immigration,” Flores said.
Anchor Babies’ songs don’t carry a particularly political message, though. Flores, a welder by day and a rocker by night, writes songs like “Broken Life” from personal experience:
Do you hear me? You’re wingin’ a broken life? /
Can you feel me? You’re wingin’ a broken life? /
I’m wingin’ on too bitch!
That song is not going to become the rallying cry of anti-immigration activists any time soon. But for Flores, the name of the group is enough to get a political conversation going. He, unlike his fellow band members, is an avid follower of politics and draws comparisons between this presidential race and previous administrations.
“Jeb Bush, I think he’s just like W,” Flores said, referencing former President George W. Bush. “He’s a follower. [Dick] Cheney is to W. what Trump is to Bush. Jeb Bush basically has no clue, just like W. Cheney is a big bully that George Bush followed and tried to mimic. I think that’s what Jeb is trying to do, but is real afraid.”
He has already decided to support Hillary Clinton despite liking Bernie Sanders as well. Flores said he fears that too many people conflate socialism with communism for Sanders to actually win. (And for the record, Clinton has already gone on the offensive against Bush’s use of the term.)
Even after clarifying his use of the phrase, Bush can’t seem to evade the ire of those offended. Protesters are planning to greet him at a town hall in Colorado on Tuesday morning.
Anchor Babies don’t have any gigs booked in Colorado but their next show is at the Zombies Bar in San Antonio. And for now, Flores will keep talking politics, but keep it out of the band’s lyrics unless something personally happens to him.
“If I were to go to the polls and vote and got denied somehow, I’d write something about that,” Flores said.