One of the many bizarre aspects of the 2016 campaign is that it’s turned Ted Cruz into one of the more relatable and even likable Republican leaders. For instance, the day after he was booed at the Republican National Convention for refusing to endorse Donald Trump, the Texas senator offered a very understandable explanation: “I am not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my father.”
The same cannot be said for George P. Bush. Over the weekend, the Texas land commissioner declared it’s time for Republicans to put aside their differences and support Donald Trump. “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 an event for state Republican activists.
The Bush family has a proud history of not enthusiastically supporting each other’s presidential ambitions; Barbara Bush famously said, “We’ve had enough Bushes,” though she eventually backed Jeb’s campaign.
As you’ll recall, Trump didn’t just beat George P. Bush’s dad in a primary. In addition to humiliating Jeb with the label “low energy,” he said President George W. Bush “lied” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, tweeted an offensive remark about Columba (George P.’s mother), and then refused to apologize to her. The Bush family dislikes Trump so much that the last two Republican presidents don’t plan to endorse him and didn’t attend the Republican National Convention. Plus, the endorsement comes as other Republicans are distancing themselves from Trump for reasons that have nothing to do with him insulting a family member.
So why back Trump now? Probably because the younger Bush is facing political pressure to support the nominee. As the state GOP’s “victory chairman,” George P. Bush is tasked with leading the campaign to “annihilate the Democrats up-and-down the ballot this November.” And it seems someone feels we haven’t “had enough Bushes” in politics.