Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s spokeswoman Kristy Campbell tells Breitbart News that a “paperwork error” was behind the false claim he made on a voter registration form in Florida that he is Hispanic.
“It’s unclear where the paperwork error was made,” Campbell said in an email. “The Governor’s family certainly got a good laugh out of it. He is not Hispanic.” On Twittter, Jeb Bush wrote:
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) April 6, 2015
Campbell’s quote comes after a New York Times report on Monday morning showed Bush claimed on a voter registration form in Florida that he was Hispanic.
“There is little doubt that Jeb Bush possesses strong credentials for appealing to Hispanic voters,” the Times’ Alan Rappeport wrote.
He speaks fluent Spanish. His wife, Columba Bush, was born in Mexico. For two years in his 20s, he lived in Venezuela, immersing himself in the country’s culture. Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate, was born in Texas and hails from one of America’s most prominent political dynasties. But on at least one occasion, it appears he got carried away with his appeal to Spanish-speaking voters and claimed he actually was Hispanic.
Rappeport points to a 2009 voter registration form from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department where Bush “marked Hispanic in the field labeled ‘race/ethnicity.’”
Bush’s team offered reporters no explanation for the characterization. So this claim that it was a simple “paperwork error” to Breitbart News seems to be the first public explanation from Team Bush for the potentially politically disastrous mistake.
To make matters worse for Team Bush’s defense, citing Miami-Dade deputy elections supervisor Carolina Lopez, the Times’ Rappeport wrote that “voters must submit hard copies of applications with a signature before receiving a voter information card confirming their address and polling location.” That means Bush signed the document in hard copy before submitting it.
For what it’s worth, it’s pretty hard to believe this was a simple “paperwork error” when a few years after Bush marked “Hispanic” for his “race/ethnicity” on this form he publicly called himself Florida’s first ever Latino governor.
“If Bill Clinton is the first black President, I’m definitely the first Cuban, at least, or Latino Governor of the State of Florida,” Bush said at an event in 2012.
Campbell and Bush’s press team haven’t responded to a follow-up request for comment when asked by Breitbart News to explain why we should believe that him calling himself “Hispanic” in 2009 was a simple “paperwork error” when it actually seems to be a pattern of behavior from the governor with the 2012 instance as well.