Potential US presidential candidate Jeb Bush made 'mistake' in identifying self as Hispanic

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Jeb Bush, the Republican former governor of Florida who is widely expected to run for president of the United States in 2016, said Monday he had mistakenly identified himself as Hispanic on a 2009 voter form.

Bush's acknowledgement came shortly after The New York Times published a story showing that on a 2009 application to register as a voter, Bush checked Hispanic in the section labelled "race/ethnicity."

On Monday, Bush's son, Jeb Bush Jr., tweeted a link to the Times story and wrote: "LOL - come on dad, think you checked the wrong box #HonoraryLatino."

The father responded shortly after, saying: "My mistake! Don't think I've fooled anyone!"

Bush, who was born in Texas, is the son of former president George H.W. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush.

He is married to Columba Bush, who was born in Mexico, he speaks fluent Spanish and as a young man he lived in Venezuela.

Winning Latino support is key if Bush is to succeed in a likely run for the presidency. Some 11 million Hispanic people participated in the 2012 elections, equivalent to 8.8 percent of the total number of voters.

Ethnic self-identity has been an issue for other candidates in the past.

For instance, when Elizabeth Warren ran for Senate in 2012, she was accused of misrepresenting herself after saying she was a Native American.