Does he REALLY want to go THERE?
Arguing that Clinton, as secretary of state, “stood by” while Iraq fell apart and as the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, took root across Iraq and Syria puts Bush on offense, shifting the conversation away from whether the war itself was a mistake. (Bush admits now, after stumbling on this question for four days in May, that the invasion was a bad idea.)
“ISIS grew while the United States disengaged from the Middle East and ignored the threat,” Bush will say, according to excerpts of his speech released Monday by his campaign. “And where was Secretary of State Clinton in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge … then joined in claiming credit for its success … then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.”
Bush’s speech is also an attempt to harden negative perceptions about Clinton’s globe-trotting tenure as America’s top diplomat.
“If Jeb Bush wants to spread blame for the situation in the Middle East, he doesn’t need to look much further than his next family reunion,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of Correct The Record, the organization tasked with running Clinton’s rapid-response operation. “Jeb championed former President George W. Bush’s destructive foreign policy from Day One, from the invasion of Iraq based on faulty intelligence to the strategy regarding ISIS.”
Clinton’s official campaign held a conference call Tuesday afternoon, putting senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan on the line with reporters to argue that Clinton’s tenure in Foggy Bottom was spent rebuilding relationships with allies after George W. Bush’s “policies that for eight years set the cause of American leadership back.”
Whose BROTHER got America into Iraq… and THOUGHT we had won there?
With his call for support of Sunni allies, he echoes a main theme of the Obama approach. And his support for increasing the Pentagon budget reflects to a considerable extent the policy of the Obama administration. But that has faced opposition from some Republicans in Congress who have sought to freeze military spending as part of efforts to cut back the size of government…