SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Presumed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on Tuesday that he’s never attended a same-sex marriage ceremony, but would if people “I cared for” invited him.
The question came during a whirlwind tour of Puerto Rico, which plays a minor role in the GOP presidential nominating process. Bush is here for the day, holding several events as he continues preparing to run for president.
After addressing a crowd at Metropolitan University here in the island’s capital city, Bush was asked by reporters in regards to today’s Supreme Court hearing on same-sex marriage whether he’s ever attended a same-sex wedding.
“No I haven’t, that’s not to say I wouldn’t if people that I cared for were going to be married, of course I would go if they asked me to go,” he said. "I believe in traditional marriage, so that’s worked pretty well for our country and for Western civilization for thousands of years. Having said that, this is a decision the court will make and we’ll have to wait and see what they decide.”
He was asked to repeat the answer in Spanish, and he did: “I support traditional marriage,” he said in Spanish adding that “claro que si” -- yes, of course I would attend a same-sex marriage if invited.
Bush was also asked about Monday’s outbreak of violence in Baltimore, which left more than a dozen police officers injured and led to a week-long curfew across Maryland’s largest city. In the past, Bush has suggested that President Obama has missed an opportunity, with his historic election and presidency, to speak more often and expansively about issues of race and society. Asked on Tuesday whether this is the moment for Obama to speak out, Bush demurred.
“He could be such an eloquent spokesman to heal wounds and to be a constructive force. I’m sure he realizes that and I’m pretty confident he will step up,” he said.
Bush added that “when you have a situation where churches are burned and when nursing homes that are under construction to deal with frail elders are burned to the ground, there has to be a commitment to the rule of law and to law enforcement.”
He noted that investigations into incidents such as the one that unfolded in Baltimore can take a long time, often leading local residents to grow frustrated.
“It’s frustrating, I can remember when I was governor it takes a really long time. And the world we live in now is really coming hour-by-hour,” he said.