Jeb Bush might’ve had his Elizabeth Warren moment: forgetting that he’s, in fact, white.
Back in 2009, according to the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Bush apparently reported his ethnicity as “Hispanic.”
Which doesn’t make sense: Bush, the son and brother of two presidents–both of whom were white–is not Hispanic. But his immediate family is: his wife, Columba Gallo Bush, is Mexican, and their three children are obviously of Hispanic extraction as well. And, this year, Spanish language television network called him a “Hispanic candidate,” in large part because of his outreach to constituencies often ignored by the Republican Party. Bush, in addition, speaks fluent Spanish, has lived in several Spanish-speaking countries like Venezuela and Mexico.
At the very least, it appears somewhat more innocent that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s own race scandal–when it was revealed the blonde-haired, blue-eyed candidate claimed to be a Native American when applying for a professor job at Harvard Law, conveniently at a time when Harvard was under fire for not hiring enough minority women. She dropped her “minority” status shortly after, and later attributed her so-called heritage to “family lore.”
The checkbox could’ve been marked in error–there’s no way to know for sure–and it’s worth noting that Bush himself has never claimed to be Hispanic, outside of this one voter registration document. With his family history so well-documented, it’s hard to imagine Bush thinking he could fool anyone into believing he was Hispanic.
Despite not being Hispanic himself, Bush plans to make inroads among Hispanic voters as a key component of his campaign. So long as he realizes he’s not actually Hispanic himself.