The wife of presidential hopeful and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is taking heat for her allegedly exorbitant spending habits.
According to The Washington Post
, Columba Bush was fined by customs officials after returning from a shopping trip in Paris when she downplayed how much she spent on clothing and jewelry.
"The embarrassment I felt made me ashamed to face my family and friends," Columba Bush said in a July 1999 speech to the Central Florida Make-a-Wish Foundation, following the incident. "It was the worst feeling I've ever had in my life."
Jeb Bush described the shopping spree as "a lot of money. But look, that's between her and me," the Post reports.
Bush has also reportedly made other large purchases at local jewelers — in one case taking out a loan to pay for more than $42,000 in jewelry in one day, which isn't the only time she borrowed money for jewelry purchases.
"Mrs. Bush bought jewelry from time to time from Mayors Jewelers over the years," Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said by e-mail, the Post reports. "Though not required to be reported, these purchases in 2000 were included as accounts payable on Governor Bush's financial disclosure that year, and paid off the next."
Campbell added that Bush's purchases are not relevant and shouldn't be an issue.
Both politicians and the wives of politicians have often been criticized for having expensive tastes, from first lady Michelle Obama's $500 tennis shoes she wore to a food bank to Ann Romney's $990 shirt she wore during an appearance on CBS during the presidential campaign in 2012 to Sen. John Edwards $400 haircut.
According to the Post, the criticism, while petty, may be relevant to some Americans as a measure of how connected candidates may be to average middle class Americans.
Columba Bush notably tries to keep a low profile — granting few interviews, is known as a quiet homebody, and is a person who cares deeply about her charity work in substance abuse and promoting arts education.
She has reportedly said she is "fully prepared"
to support her husband's presidential bid in 2016.
If elected, the Mexican born Bush would be the first Latina first lady, and the second first lady not born in the United States. The first was Louisa Adams, wife of President John Quincy Adams, who was born in England.
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