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In Miami-Dade voter registration, Jeb Bush checked off 'Hispanic'


Likely 2016 Republican presidential contender and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ticked off "Hispanic" as his "race/ethnicity" in a 2009 Miami-Dade County voter-registration form, the New York Times reported Monday.

"A Bush spokeswoman could offer no explanation for the characterization," the Times said, noting that the elections department requires a hard copy of the form, which needs the applicant's signature. (See update below.)

The Texas-born Bush is, obviously, not Hispanic, at least not by birth. But his wife, Columba, is Mexican American. And Bush is, in the literal sense of the word, "Hispanic" -- that is, he speaks Spanish. He met his wife in León, Mexico, and as a young married couple they lived in Caracas, Venezuela. 

But politicians have been dragged down in the past by messing up government forms. In 2012, Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren misrepresented herself as a Native American during her Senate race, prompting significant backlash. Democrats -- and, privately, Republican opponents -- are likely to press Bush's camp for an explanation, though the self-identification wouldn't have gained Bush anything, politically or otherwise.

Don't expect Miami's Cuban-American community to come after the former governor. They consider him an honorary Cuban American, given that his ties to the exile establishment run so deep.

Bush's son Jeb Bush Jr. poked fun at his dad Monday on Twitter for apparently making a mistake:

UPDATE: Dad responded by admitting the error: