A guitarist/singer wearing a camouflage hat sang Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire” as storm clouds loomed over the patio of the Swamp Restaurant.
Despite the weather, about 75 attendees, sporting “Romney — Believe in America” stickers and sipping on beer gathered at the venue as George P. Bush, eldest son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke about Maverick PAC, a political action committee focused on engaging a new generation of Republican leaders.
During his speech, which lasted less than 10 minutes, the nephew of former President George W. Bush stressed that young people have a voice in elections and urged audience members to vote.
Bush opened the floor up for questions, and audience members sat silently. One man asked a question, which was about outreach to Hispanics.
Bush suggested Republicans not abandon conservative principles, including limited government, family values and a strong national defense.
“These are all winning messages,” he said.
Food resource economics freshman Zachary Higginbotham, 18, said it’s good that the Republican Party is reaching out.
“It’s something Republicans need to work on – reaching out to other races and ethnicities,” he said.
Higginbotham, who is a registered Republican, said he had never heard of Maverick PAC before the event, but he found Bush’s message was interesting.
Keith Perry, who is running for state representative, also spoke at the event. He urged students to pursue their passions and dreams.
Following the speeches, some audience members gathered around Bush to shake his hand and take pictures, while others went straight to the buffet for wings, and chips and dip.