In case you haven’t heard by now, likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush apparently chose “Hispanic” as his ethnicity on his 2009 voter registration form. It’s an interesting finding considering the former Florida governor is not, in fact, Hispanic.
Now, is this really a big deal? Yes and no.
While it’s essentially harmless, if he willfully marked the wrong ethnicity, therefore purposely falsifying his voting information, that’s a 3rd degree felony. The problem is, it would be impossible to prove that he marked “Hispanic” purposefully.
But what has stood out to me is the way he’s tried to laugh off this entire thing, not offering any real explanation as to how he marked “Hispanic” instead of “White,” which is clearly his actual ethnicity. To be fair, they’re right next to each other so it’s possible that it was simply an oversight on his part. But to just laugh off possible voter fraud, especially when your party is the one that’s always harping about the non-existent problem, is just a bit hypocritical.
Following this story coming out Jeb Bush sent out this tweet, essentially trying to make a big joke out of this:
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) April 6, 2015
Again, it’s very possible that he did simply make a mistake.
But could you imagine if President Obama or Hillary Clinton made the same mistake? I can already see the Fox News headline: Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton Commits Felony After Falsifying Voter Registration Information.
After all, it’s been the Republican party that’s pushed this myth that voter fraud is rampant. If Bush knowingly checked the wrong ethnicity, then that is by definition voter fraud.
Now, do I really care about all of this? No, not really. An honest mistake is an honest mistake and that’s likely all this is. Besides, there’s absolutely no way to prove that he willfully marked the wrong ethnicity box when he was registering to vote.
But I do think this ties in to the perception that the Bush family is just prone to gaffes. Just a few short weeks ago the very same Jeb Bush actually said publicly that he doesn’t want to talk about the past, clearly referring to his brother’s presidency. That’s an absolutely laughable statement considering it’s ludicrous for him to try to tell the American people that his brother’s time in the White House has nothing to do with him; especially considering how Jeb has surrounded himself with many of the same people that George W. Bush had around him. He’s basically telling the media “I don’t want to talk about my biggest liability” just as he’s gearing up to run for the most powerful position in the world.
Though instead of simply laughing this off, I would have liked to at least see him take it a bit more seriously. Not that he needed to come out and beg for forgiveness or anything like that, but at least act a bit more “presidential” about it considering that’s clearly the office for which he’s getting ready to run.
So while I personally don’t think this is a big deal, I just can’t shake this feeling that had a leading Democrat made the same gaffe – especially if it was someone like Hillary Clinton – this would have been a leading story on Fox News for days. As we all know, Fox News specializes in trying to make something out of nothing – as long as it involves trying to publicly slander a Democrat.