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Bush: Staffer's tweets inappropriate, but aide to remain

Jeb Bush calls tweets of new staffer inappropriate, but aide to remain with likely 2016 bid

Bush: Staffer's tweets inappropriate, but aide to remain

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told supporters and former aides that he is "singularly focused" on weighing a presidential bid, but on the same day found himself having to decry "inappropriate" tweets by a recently appointed top technology aide

On Monday, Bush met with supporters as he prepared to release thousands of emails from his time as Florida's chief executive and the first chapter of a related e-book to highlight what he called a compassionate leadership style with deep conservative credentials.

Bush has yet to announce his political intentions, but he has been among the most aggressive Republican presidential prospects in recent weeks. He continues to court top political donors across the country, while reviving and expanding a political machine that was largely dormant in the eight years since he left the Florida governor's mansion.

A Bush spokeswoman said the former governor was disappointed to learn that Ethan Czahor -- hired in January as chief technology officer of Bush's Right to Rise political action committee -- had posted messages on his personal Twitter account that referred to women as "sluts" and made remarks about gay men.

Within an hour, Czahor posted a new tweet, his first in months: "i deleted some old jokes i made years ago that i no longer find funny or appropriate. #learning #maturing"

Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said Czahor, 31, the founder of Hipster.com, will stay in his post as chief technology officer for Bush's political action committee, which serves as a vehicle for a potential campaign.

"Gov. Bush thinks the comments were inappropriate, and they have been deleted at our request," she said. "Ethan is a great talent in the tech world and we're excited to have him on board."

In one tweet posted in 2009, since deleted, Czahor wrote, "new study confirms old belief: college female art majors are sluts, science majors are also sluts but uglier."

Czahor did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment about the tweets and his role in Bush's political operation.

The tweets were first reported by BuzzFeed News.

On a conference call Monday with staff and supporters, Bush said, "My personal belief is that Republicans can win if we're more hopeful and aspirational, which is why we've used the terminology 'Right to Rise.'"

Bush said during the call he planned to release emails from his two terms as governor on a new website Tuesday. He suggested the emails showing his interactions with constituents and staff would help shape his message in a prospective presidential campaign.

The 20-minute call touched on a range of political strategy and policy, and the son and brother of former presidents cited the support from his family as he eyes the 2016 campaign.

"Thanks to the support that I have from my beloved wife and family, my life is totally focused on this," he said.

During the call, Bush called on his Republican allies to reach out to Hispanic voters and other groups critical to Republicans' 2016 prospects.

"Because our message was maybe too harsh or our harsher voices are the ones that seem to have dominated, we've lost a little ground," he said. "But the fact that I'm bilingual, bicultural can't hurt."

Bush's wife Columba is from Mexico. He is fluent in Spanish, and received his bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas.

Bush, who last week unveiled themes of what would be an economic platform, hinted at what would be his diplomatic and national security priorities, which he plans to outline in a speech in Chicago next week.

He said his top spending priority would be to "protect our shores," and said he would promote U.S. power as "a force of good, not bad." He made no reference to Iraq, where his brother, former President George W. Bush, was criticized for waging an unpopular war.


Updated : 2021-09-26 22:08 GMT+08:00