US Republican presidential front- runner George Bush Jnr yesterday refused to deny he has ever used illegal drugs.
The son of former President George Bush has been plagued by rumours that he used cocaine and other drugs.
But under pressure from reporters at a press conference yesterday, the 53-year-old politician would only say he had "not used illegal drugs in the past seven years".
The shock revelation could see the Texas governor forced to pull out of the race for the White House.
One top pollster said yesterday: "The American public can forgive boozing or women, but not cocaine."
Bush turned on reporters who tried to force him to open up on the drugs question at a testy press conference in Austin, Texas.
After first dismissing the allegations as "ridiculous and absurd rumours", he stormed: "You know what happens? Somebody floats a rumour and that causes you to ask a question.
"And that's the game in American politics, and I refuse to play it."
But he was caught out when reporters asked him about drug questionnaires that federal employees have to fill out to get high-level security clearance. …