Bush, the two-term Texas land commissioner and the last member of the Bush political dynasty – which over four generations has produced two presidents, a vice president, a senator, two governors and a congressman – pointed to the legal controversies facing Paxton and told Fox News he’s “a conservative advocate for the state of Texas but without the baggage.”
Paxton is facing felony securities fraud charges in a case that dates back six years and has hovered over him during his entire tenure as attorney general. He denies any wrongdoing and has claimed the charges are politically motivated.
But Paxton is also the focus of a separate FBI corruption investigation for allegedly abusing his office to benefit a wealthy donor.
“For many years now, Texans know that their top cop has been under securities fraud indictment and very concerned about that, and last November it became clear with eight of his top lieutenants alleging everything from bribery to corruption that many at the grassroots level in our state want a change in leadership,” Bush said Thursday morning in an interview on “Fox & Friends.” “I believe Texas Republicans should have a choice when it comes to their top cop.”
“This is about the fitness, the competence of running the state’s most important law firm,” Bush argued. “It requires somebody to be above reproach. It’s really hard to claim the moral high ground on issues like human trafficking and illegal immigration and backing the thin blue line in our state if you yourself are facing significant criminal investigations and allegations.”