Forget New Hampshire — the Pitbull primary is in full swing.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush expressed his admiration for the rapper this week, adding a voice to the growing chorus of Republicans saying “¡Dale!” to the Cuban-American superstar.
Bush told TMZ he’d like to take Pitbull to a baseball game (though his first choice was President Teddy Roosevelt — because, he said, he’d like to talk to him).
“The reason why you like baseball…is that you can have a conversation with people,” he said.
But he quickly added, “might wanna have Pitbull, too,” presumably because sitting between Pitbull and Roosevelt at Nationals Stadium would all but ensure an enjoyable day at the ballpark.
The former governor isn’t the only Florida Republican that’s shown some love to the singer, however — Sen. Marco Rubio, another Republican presidential contender, has said he’s on a first-name basis with him and likes his music. And Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently declared his birthday, Jan. 15, “Pitbull Day,” and has given him the keys to Miami.
There’s likely more to the Pitbull love than just a deep appreciation for his tropical beats and wry lyricism; Pitbull commands a veritable army of Latino fans, many of them also Cuban-American — a voting bloc that has traditionally favored the Republican Party, though that’s shifted in recent years.
And that voting bloc could be pivotal in swing-state Florida, both in tough gubernatorial races like Scott’s last year, and competitive presidential contests like that expected in 2016. A Pitbull endorsement could mean more for a candidate than the backing of the billionaire Koch brothers.
But while Pitbull knows they want him, it’s unlikely he’ll wade into the GOP presidential contest. Pitbull told BuzzFeed in a statement earlier this year that he’s “not here to be part of any political party” — but Republicans and Democrats alike are welcome to attend his own.
“I’m here to bring political parties to my party because they can’t, they won’t they never will, stop the Pitbull party, Dale!” he said.