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Those close to the Bushes shrugged off any suggestion that some family members might be irked to see George P. distancing himself from the clan.
"The only thing the Bush family cares about is that George P. follow his convictions, whatever they are," said Mark McKinnon, a GOP strategist and former advisor to George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns.
Karen Hughes, a former spokeswoman and diplomat for the George W. Bush White House, said any candidate runs "based on his or her fundamental values and priorities, and that is true regardless of your last name."
Others who know the family said Gingrich’s "Contract With America," which was on the cutting edge of activist conservatism in 1994, is now far more mainstream for the GOP as a whole — including the Bushes.
Still, Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, a socially conservative activist group, said Bush’s claiming of the movement conservative mantle isn’t credible given the shadow his family has cast over state and national politics for so long.
However, while many tea party backers remain enraged that Bush’s uncle ran up enormous federal deficits and oversaw the bank bailout, they are unwilling to turn their back on the family, Adams acknowledged.
"I think Texans are very respectful of the gentlemen in politics, the kindness and compassion that the family has earned over a long period of time," she said.
Those sentiments will probably extend to George P. too, she added, "even though it should not be that way."
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