George P. Bush: Republicans Will Win on `Kitchen-Table Issues’

Photograph by Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, talks with his son, George P. Bush.

A George Bush from Texas held court in Tampa today.

He isn’t a former president, but, given his lineage, he could be considered as a future one.

And he may be in the right place for that.

“We’re already a majority-minority state — we’ll be a majority Hispanic state within the next 10 years,” said Bush, joining a panel on employment,  education and training in the new American workforce convened by Bloomberg at its site across a waterway from the Republican National Convention.

George P. Bush, 36 — the P stands for Prescott — is of the fourth generation of a family whose political line started with Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut.  His grandfather, George H.W. Bush, was the 41st president. His father, Jeb Bush, was governor of Florida.

He is of the American melting pot as well. His mother, Columba Bush, is Mexican-born. He settled in Texas after law school there because, with his heritage, and name, it seemed a good place to work.  As a young man between college and law school, “P” campaigned for his uncle, former President George W. Bush. He has since taken his own party role in Texas, where his uncle was governor in the 1990s.  He is serving as deputy finance chairman for the Republican Party of Texas. He is a founding partner of St. Augustine Partners in Texas.

If there is any question about his politics, Bush started at today’s forum by quoting Ronald Reagan: “Some of the most dangerous words you’ll ever hear in your life are, `Don’t worry, I’m from the government, I’m here to help.”

Opinion polling shows a wide gap between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney among  Hispanic voters – just as Obama led Senator John McCain of Arizona by a similar margin in 2008.

The Pew Research Center has found that “kitchen-table issues” — jobs, the economy and immigration — are shared as strong concerns among Hispanics and non-Hispanics, Bush noted today. “Governor Romney is a known job creator — I think people have an impression of Bain Capital as this big, bad organization,” he said. Once people get to know his record, he said, “People will see that we’re on the winning side.”

We heard from his father today on this as well, with Jeb Bush telling reporters and editors from Bloomberg and the Washington Post that Romney can narrow the gap among Hispanics as voters get to know him.

It ultimately “comes down to family values, job creation and the growth of our economy,” George P. Bush said. “These are issues that our party does fairly well on… I think we win on those discussions.”

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