The fight among Republicans this year to win a congressional seat outside of Houston is epic. Eighteen candidates are running in the primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Olson.
Among them is Pierce Bush, the 33 year-old grandson of George H.W. Bush, who joins a field of some die-hard and battle-tested supporters of President Donald Trump.
Well documented is the bad blood between the Bush family and the Trumps, most prominently on display during the 2016 presidential primary battle between then-candidate Trump and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Back then, Trump tweeted “No more Bushes!” And, for their part, the Bushes, have taken a few direct and subtle swipes at the president over the years. Most recently, in 2017, Pierce Bush marched in what the Daily Caller calls an “anti-Trump protest” opposing the Muslim ban.
As a 2020 candidate, Bush has hitched his wagon to the president, backing the president’s re-election and his policies, at times awkwardly so.
In a recent TV interview with Houston’s KPRC, Bush was asked by the show’s host, Khambrel Marshall, how his support for Trump — who instituted a travel ban of people from Muslim-majority countries — squares with the district’s significant Muslim population. Looking visibly flustered, Bush appeared to lack a strong defense of the ban.
“I think that’s a way to spin something, Khambrel,” Bush responded, “and I would maybe… look… the…the…the… president’s biggest job is to protect our liberties and to protect our country’s national security. Um… Uh…. The…Um… look, I don’t think he’s anti-Muslim…”
It’s Bush’s first time running for office. He recently served as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, which helps at-risk youth.
One of Bush’s Republican opponents, Kathaleen Wall, is showcasing her Christian conservative, pro-life values on the stump and promises to deport “illegal aliens.” Wall’s latest TV commercial, unlike Bush’s, mentions Trump, saying she’s a “rock-solid Texas ally” to the president.
Early voting begins Feb. 18.
Photo: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images