There is little doubt that Jeb Bush possesses strong credentials for appealing to Hispanic voters.
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.
In a 2009 voter-registration application, obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Mr. Bush marked Hispanic in the field labeled “race/ethnicity.”
A Bush spokeswoman could offer no explanation for the characterization. However, Mr. Bush took to Twitter late on Monday morning to call the situation a mistake.
Carolina Lopez, deputy supervisor of elections for Miami-Dade, said voters must submit hard copies of applications with a signature before receiving a voter information card confirming their address and polling location. According to the Florida Division of Elections, the application requires an original signature because the voter is swearing or affirming an oath.
Florida law requires that the signature, driver’s license number and social security number be redacted before being publicly released.
While Mr. Bush’s claiming to be Hispanic may have been a careless mistake, confusion over heritage is no laughing matter during a campaign season.
As for Mr. Bush, whom Univision called a “Hispanic candidate” this year, his outreach to Hispanic voters is unlikely to be deterred. With any luck, it will not go to his head again.
Source: NY Times