For the first time, a member of the Bush family has put his thumb on the scale for Donald Trump.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, told state party activists on Saturday that they should hold their nose and get in line behind the Republican nominee.
“From Team Bush, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton,” Bush said at a training meeting for members of the State Republican Executive Committee, according to the Texas Tribune. Video of his remarks was captured by an audience member.
As the Texas GOP’s victory chairman, the eldest Bush son is tasked with ensuring Republican wins statewide in the 206 election. But his endorsement, no matter how reluctant, is striking given the bruising treatment his father received at Trump’s hands during the primary contest.
Trump routinely ridiculed the former Florida governor as “low-energy,” “weak,” and “pathetic,” skewering him in campaign ads and on the debate stage.
No other Bush family member has openly said they would vote for Trump, and many staffers of former President George W. Bush’s administration have declined to back the real estate mogul or even said they would support Hillary Clinton instead. Trump himself said he understood where the Bushes were coming from.
“I was rough with Jeb Bush,” Trump said in an August ABC interview. “And I think if I was Jeb Bush, I wouldn’t vote for me either.”