Politics & Policy

Jeb Called Himself ‘First Latino Governor of Florida’ in 2012

Jeb Bush’s 2009 voter registration form was not the last time the former Florida governor identified himself as Latino. At an event in 2012, Bush claimed to be ”definitely the first Cuban, at least, or Latino governor” of the Sunshine State.

Bush’s comments came during a panel discussion with governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada at a 2012 event for the Hispanic Leadership Network. (According to the group’s website, Bush is a member of its national advisory committee.) During the event, he detailed how he came to meet his wife while in Mexico, and how their meeting geared his interests toward Latin America.

From that point on, “my whole life became more orientated towards” Latin American culture and policy, he said. He went on to get a degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas.

#related#”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 continued, to widespread applause.

Florida is yet to elect a governor of Latin-American origin, although Bob Martinez, who served in the governor’s mansion from 1987 to 1991, is the grandson of Spanish immigrants.

Andrew Johnson is an editorial associate at National Review Online.

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