The youngest member of the Bush family to seek higher office, Texas Land Commissioner George P Bush, addressed his loyalty to Donald Trump amid criticism of the former president from members of his own family.
Mr Bush became embroiled in criticism from establishment figures in the GOP last week after announcing a run to be Texas’s next attorney general with a statement that many saw as minimising his connections to former President George W Bush, his uncle, as well as former President George HW Bush, his grandfather.
Members of the Bush family have been known to be privately critical of Mr Trump, and George W Bush was reported to have not supported Mr Trump in his 2020 bid for reelection. The younger of the two Bush presidents also reportedly quipped “that was some weird s***” to fellow attendees of Mr Trump’s inauguration, including the Obamas, following Mr Trump’s fiery address at the January 2017 event.
Speaking on Fox News on Wednesday evening with Tammy Bruce, Mr Bush insisted that he was “my own man,” while stressing that the political differences in his family were like those shared by many American families.
“The fact is that in 2016 I was one of the first statewide election officials to come out and support him. I raised a million and a half in support of Republican candidates with him at the top of the ticket,” Mr Bush said in the interview on Fox News Primetime.
“Trump is the centre of the Republican party. I’m my own man. I support him. And we need to carry on that legacy, capture the lightning that he brought to the Republican party so that we can help all of our fellow Republicans down-ballot,” he continued.
Texas AG candidate George P. Bush is asked about his support of Trump vs. the rest of the Bush family:
“Trump is the center of the party. I am my own man and I support him… We’re just like any American family in that we have our differences of opinion.” pic.twitter.com/0MyQucOO7t
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 10, 2021
His announcement of a run for attorney general was met with ridicule from some conservatives last week including Matthew Dowd, a former campaign staffer for George W Bush.
“For George P, you would think some sort of family values or some family loyalty would be more important than political ambition,” Dowd said on CNN.
Mr Bush was also mocked by Jonathan Last, an executive editor for The Bulwark, a conservative publication often seen as aligned with the neoconservative wing of the GOP.
“[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 Mr Last, adding: “Yes, yes — in a perfect world they’d both lose. But this isn’t a perfect world. It’s Texas.”