Some influential Republicans remain skeptical that the party must tap a presidential candidate with strong appeal to Latino voters or that Jeb Bush is that person, leaving them unwilling for now to embrace the former Florida governor.
While GOP candidate and businessman Donald Trump has made controversial comments about Mexican-Americans since he entered the 2016 race, Bush has repeatedly highlighted his connections to the Latino community and praised the influence of immigrants on American culture. He speaks Spanish frequently on the campaign trail, constantly discusses the importance of Republicans reaching beyond the party’s base of white voters and attends events that most of his 2016 rivals don’t, like a conference for Latino pastors in April. He is also a strong supporter of creating a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Bush said that he and his wife Columba “speak Spanish more than English” at home. He spoke Spanish in that interview, as he did at times in an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and in his formal announcement speech in Miami last month. Bush also blasted Trump in an interview this week with the Daily Caller, saying “His views are not reflective of the immigrant experience. He’s just wrong.”