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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gave up profanity for Lent

Lent began on Wednesday

CNN  — 

One day in and Jeb Bush has already broken his Lenten promise.

The devout Catholic, who campaigned Wednesday in South Carolina with ash on his forehead for Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent – told reporters Thursday night that he was giving up profanity for the 40-day Christian season of sacrifice “to set an example for other candidates in the race.”

Participants in Lent, followed by several Christian denominations including Catholicism, often choose a vice or negative habit to give up for the duration Lenten season, which ends on Easter.

With Donald Trump making headlines for his use of sometimes-vulgar language, Bush has been hitting the GOP front-runner recently for his unusual choice of words on the campaign trail.

“Trump used profanity three times in his speech, and look I’m not an old fuddy duddy, but this should at least be G … rated,” Bush said last week in Laconia, New Hampshire. “I mean, we’re running for president of the United States. Children listen to this stuff.”

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Just a few days later, Trump repeated the word “pussy” to describe Ted Cruz at a rally in New Hampshire, and Bush again seized on Trump’s vernacular.

“Unless I’m caught with a camera I didn’t see, I’m not going to use profanity in public,” Bush said to laughter in Bluffton, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

But earlier on Thursday, Bush, who’s known to say “damn” and “hell” from time to time in his stump speeches, was fired up while campaigning in Florence, South Carolina, and declared, as he sometimes does, that “we’re Americans, dammit!”

When reminded Thursday night by a reporter that he had already used a not-so-G-rated word earlier in the day, Bush acknowledged his little slip.

“I thought about it after I said it,” Bush said regretfully. “I don’t know, there is a judge somewhere that’s gonna tell me whether or not that’s profanity?”

“It certainly doesn’t match the profanity we’ve heard from … the front running candidate, who openly says things that I am appalled by, and you all can’t repeat,” he continued. “At least, you haven’t yet when you’ve asked me about it. It’s hard to repeat the words he says but he gets away with it. I think we need to set an example, so that’s my lentil commitment.”

Bush again returned to his use of “dammit.”

“I got a little Catholic guilt,” he said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”