Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) called fellow South Floridian Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) for her birthday on Wednesday, and the voicemail message he left her is getting a lot of buzz on social media.
Bush and Ros-Lehtinen have known each other for decades. He was the campaign manager for her first Congressional campaign back in 1989, according to the Miami Herald. Ros-Lehtinen was there in Miami last month when Bush launched his presidential campaign and has endorsed her long-time friend.
When Bush called Ros-Lehtinen to wish her a happy birthday, he got her voicemail and sang the “Happy Birthday” song—all of it—before saying “This is Jeb!” at the very end.
The former governor’s singing may not be Grammy-winning material, but it is pretty endearing, except for an awkward flub when he calls her “Ellie” before correcting himself and saying “Ily,” short for Ileana.
Ros-Lehtinen clearly was not offended, posting the message on her Twitter account.
Hear Bush wish a very happy birthday to “dear Ellie… Ily” here:
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) July 15, 2015
Update: Bush spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger reached out to Breitbart News, disputing that Bush got Ros-Lehtinen’s name wrong. “The Governor did not get Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s name wrong. They are great friends, if you listen to the video, it is clear Governor Bush was going to say her full name and instead called her by the nickname, ‘Ily.'” It seems most likely a slip of the tongue — no one is doubting that he remembers the name of a friend he has had since the 1980s, but the audio is there for anyone to make their own judgment.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.