NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nevada — After nearly an hour-long discussion on serious policy, Jeb Bush was thrown a softball Wednesday night while speaking at an event in Las Vegas:
Who is your favorite Marvel superhero?
Bush was amused that he was being asked the question but struggled to come up with an immediate answer. And then, as he confessed after the fact, dug himself into a hole.
“I like watching the movies. I wish I owned Marvel, as someone that believes in capitalism,” Bush said, speaking at the Libre Forum in North Las Vegas.
“I don’t know, I’m kinda old school,” he continued. “I like the old school guys like Batman, a little dark these days.”
But then he kept going, saying that he saw an ad for the new CBS show “Supergirl” featuring former “Glee” actress Melissa Benoist.
“I saw it when I was working out this morning,” he said. “She looked kinda … she looked pretty hot. I don’t know which channel it’s on, but I’m looking forward to that.”
He paused, letting the audience laugh, then added: “That’ll make news.”
Supergirl, it should be noted, is a character from Marvel’s rival comic universe DC, as is Batman.
Reaching out to Hispanics
It was a moment of levity for the audience after listening to Bush talk about his plans to grow the economy and tackle complicated issues such as immigration, the debt, and foreign relations with Latin America.
The forum was sponsored by the Libre Initiative, an effort backed by David and Charles Koch and aimed to lure more Hispanics into the Republican column by promoting conservative principles. The group has previously held forums with Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.
Bush opened up the event speaking in Spanish about how he studied Latin American affairs at the University of Texas. Then he switched to English to add: “I had a Latin American affair. It was with my wife, Columba.”
He highlighted his experiences living in Venezuela and Miami, as well as the bicultural family he started with his Mexican wife, to demonstrate his appeal to Hispanic voters.
Though he has faced criticism from Donald Trump for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail, Bush has embraced his ties to the Hispanic community. It’s an aspect of his campaign that he hopes will boost his electability and convince primary voters that he can win in a general election.
During the “Supergirl” moment at the end, Daniel Graza, the group’s executive director and a former member of the George W. Bush administration, was moderating the discussion and tried to move on to the next question as the audience was laughing.
But he kept laughing himself. “I’m trying to move quickly,” he said.
“Yeah you want to get me out of my hole I just dug?” Bush joked.