He is attacking President Obama and Hillary Clinton on Iraq TODAY….
So he’s getting questions about his brother George W. Bush BACK IN THE DAY….
Jeb has come out strongly backing his brothers Iraq policy and ruling out a prohibition against ‘extraordinary interrogation’….Well Almost ALL of his policy moves….Jeb admits that his brother should part of the blame for leaving the place a mess….(One that he BLAMES on Obama and Hillary?)
Bush’s efforts to present himself as a strong, sensible commander in chief are complicated by the unpopular war his brother waged in Iraq — a war the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, supported at the time — and by his own tendency to view it in a more favorable light.
While Democrats are sure to mine Bush’s words for attack ad soundbites, the candidate showed no signs of tempering his praise for his brother’s war record.
To the contrary, after months of difficulty reconciling the broadly held public view that the Iraq War was a mistake with his own hawkish foreign policy views and an innate unwillingness to rehash and criticize his brother’s record, he has settled on a strategy: unapologetically arguing that the war, however misconceived, brought about an opportunity for a more stable Middle East, one that the current Democratic administration squandered.
“I’m not saying this because I’m a Bush,” he said. “I’m proud of what he did to create a secure environment for our country.”
With 17 of his 21 foreign policy advisers being veterans of George W. Bush’s White House, Bush’s position is no great surprise. And in a wild Republican primary to be decided by a conservative electorate clamoring for a more muscular approach to foreign policy, it might be a smart strategic play.
“It’s not like you can run a campaign for president and not talk about Iraq,” said Tim Miller, Bush’s campaign spokesman. “We can talk about Iraq on our terms. Terrorism and radical Islam is something the country cares about and certainly Republican primary voters are very concerned about it. He wanted to take the mantle as somebody who’s going to have a strategy and be a leader on it. There’s a primary electorate on our side that’s looking for that.”
Specifically, Bush focused again on the 2007 troop surge as a “courageous” decision that, he argues, temporarily curtailed sectarian violence within in Iraq; and he blames President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton for removing American troops too hastily and creating the power vacuum that’s allowed ISIS to take root.
“We just washed our hands of the effort,” Bush said. “We declared success and then chaos occurred afterwards.”
More than anything else Bush said Thursday afternoon here, that statement underlined the political perils of this candidate talking about that war….