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Jeb Bush’s Hispanic Outreach Could Both Help and Hinder 2016 Bid

Let the record show: Jeb Bush is Latino – well, at least according to a voter-registration application the likely Republican presidential signed back in 2009.

As the New York Times reported, Bush marked "Hispanic" in form's field asking for race/ethnicity.

In fact, Bush is white, while his wife, Columba, was born in Mexico.

Bush took to Twitter to joke about the story with his son, Jeb Bush Jr.

But mistakes and jokes aside, the story is another reminder about how his family story -- and especially his views on immigration reform -- could be asset in a general election.

And they could be liability in a GOP primary race.

For a general election, Republicans MUST do better with Latinos than the 31 percent John McCain received in 2008 and 27 percent Mitt Romney got in 2008.

Indeed, Jeb Bush's brother – George W. Bush – got some 40 percent of Latino vote in his successful 2004 re-election bid.

But in a primary, Bush's support for comprehensive immigration reform could be an Achilles Heel in a party where "amnesty" is a four-letter word.

A year ago, he called illegal immigration "an act of love."

"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony," Bush said back then. "It's an act of love, an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that is a different kind of crime."

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from last month found 62 percent of Republican primary voters saying they would be less supportive of a presidential candidate who backs a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

So that position on immigration reform could matter more than however he filled out that 2009 voter-application form.