SILAO, Mexico — Jeb Bush often mentions his wife’s family, how he fell in love with her in nearby León, and her immigrant challenges coming to the United States.
Only rarely — and critically — do the likely front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination or his aides mention his wife’s father, José Maria Garnica Rodríguez.
Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell reiterated Tuesday that Columba Bush’s father abandoned his family. “Mrs. Bush did not have a relationship with her father after he left her mother and their family when Mrs. Bush was just a young teenager,” she said. And published accounts, including one in The New York Times recently, largely have taken that line, calling him a migrant worker and nonpresence in his daughter’s life.
But relatives here say it’s not true.