Critics unloaded on the youngest member of the Bush family dynasty to enter politics on Thursday following his announcement of a run to be the next attorney general for the state of Texas.
George P. Bush, Texas land commissioner and son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, announced a run for attorney general of Texas late Wednesday.
“I’ve spent the last six years putting my background as a businessman, attorney, teacher, and Veteran to work for Texans. I’ve gotten results, and I’m ready to do more. I’m excited to announce that I’m running for Attorney General. Let’s build a better future for Texas, together,” Mr. Bush said in a statement released on Twitter.
Mr Bush struck a softer tone towards Mr Trump than have other members of the Bush clan at his rally Wednesday evening, telling supporters and journalists that he “can’t let a mean tweet get in the way of doing the right thing,” according to CNN.
Attendees of Mr Bush’s campaign rally also posted images of campaign memorabilia on Twitter including drink koozies bearing the likenesses of Mr Bush and Mr Trump, as well as a quote from the latter: “This is the only Bush that likes me. This is the Bush that got it right. I like him.”
The announcement, as well as the indications that Mr Bush would seek an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, drew fire from all sides of the political spectrum.
“George P Bush is totally cool dissing his family in hopes of making Trump happy,” wrote CNN’s Chris Cillizza, referring to the former president’s frequent criticism of the George W Bush administration.
A former senior campaign staffer for George W Bush hit out at the younger Bush on CNN on Wednesday. Matthew Dowd called George P Bush’s shift towards Mr Trump a “sad tale”.
“For George P, you would think some sort of family values or some family loyalty would be more important than political ambition,” Mr Dowd said.
The executive editor of The Bulwark, a conservative publication seen as typically aligned with the Bush wing of the Republican Party, also panned the younger Bush’s about-face regarding the former president.
“[H]ere’s George P anyway, with his gimp mask on, doing what he’s got to do because he’s a member of the reality-based community. And if you want a future in Republican politics, you have to be pro-Trump. Even if it means being anti-your-family,” wrote Jonathan Last, adding: “Yes, yes—in a perfect world they’d both lose. But this isn’t a perfect world. It’s Texas.”
“With every sip of your beer, @georgepbush wants to remind TX voters that he’s willing to sell out his own family for personal gain,” added Tommy Vietor, a former spokesman for Former President Barack Obama, on Twitter.
At his campaign announcement rally Wednesday evening, Mr Bush took aim at the state’s current attorney general, Ken Paxton, a fellow Republican who faces accusations of bribery as well as a felony indictment on charges of fraud.
Mr Bush will face Mr Paxton in a primary election currently set for 1 March 2022, the winner of which will likely go on to win the November general election in the heavily Republican state of Texas.
“Here in Texas, we have a scandal that is plaguing one of our highest offices. And I believe conservatives should have a choice,” Mr Bush said at the event, according to the Associated Press.
I’ve spent the last six years putting my background as a businessman, attorney, teacher, and Veteran to work for Texans. I’ve gotten results, and I’m ready to do more. I’m excited to announce that I’m running for Attorney General. Let’s build a better future for Texas, together. pic.twitter.com/17h5XGMXOT— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) June 3, 2021
In a statement to the AP, a spokesman for Mr Paxton dismissed Mr Bush’s announcement, claiming that residents of the state “know Attorney General Paxton’s rock-solid conservative record”.
Mr Bush is the fourth member of the clan to serve in Texas politics. As the son of the former Florida governor, he is the nephew of one former president, George W Bush, and the grandson of former president George H W Bush. He is also the great-grandson of former Connecticut senator Prescott Bush.
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