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'El flaco Jeb' opens Miami office, jabbing 'pobrecito' Donald Trump

BYY13 Bush News rk (1)


Jeb Bush wasn't on Miami time Saturday. He was due at his local field office opening in Coral Gables -- and the show was running early. 

Good thing, too: The storefront at 5430 SW Eighth St. on the 90-degree day was sauna-hot. Almost every single Bush sign that wasn't hanging from a wall had been turned into a handheld fan.

So Bush mercifully bounded on stage before the event had even been scheduled to start, after his staunch hometown backers worked the microphone for a crowd that needed no warming up.

"El flaco Jeb!" Bush said in Spanish, introducing himself as "skinny Jeb," the first thing most longtime Bush friends in Florida note about their former governor. He immediately took a shot at rival Donald Trump.

"El Sr. Trump dice que no puedo hablar español en los Estados Unidos. Pobrecito." Mr. Trump said I can't speak Spanish in the United States. Poor little thing.

Bush always seems most comfortable campaigning at home -- and in Spanglish --  and Saturday was no different. At one point he began unbuttoning his shirt -- a surprising move for any politician, though not entirely out of place in the sweltering heat -- only to reveal a vintage-design Reagan/Bush '84 T-shirt underneath.

"The party I believe in!" he said, before buttoning back up.

He introduced his wife, Columba, and children Noelle and Jeb Jr. before criticizing President Obama and Trump again, saying a president shouldn't rule por decreto, by decree. In all, Bush spoke only a few minutes, but he worked the room for much longer, posing for photos and shaking hands.

Though Bush's national headquarters opened in Miami in May, eager Bush loyalists had clamored for an easily accessible location to drop in to volunteer and feel connected to the campaign.

Now they have it -- though they might want to invest in some air conditioning.

This post has been updated.

Photo credit: Roberto Koltun, El Nuevo Herald