Jeb Bush launched what appeared to be among his first public attacks on Hillary Clinton when he told Republican donors in Iowa this weekend that the former Secretary of State has “let us down.” His jabs focused on her record as secretary of state.
Since he announced his intention to consider a 2016 White House bid earlier this year, Bush’s public remarks have included criticism of President Barack Obama. However, Bush has yet to voice disdain for Clinton, who is widely considered his top Democratic rival in the presidential race.
Bush’s comments in Iowa criticised Clinton for her role in President Barack Obama’s foreign policy strategy and her conduct at the State Department.
Bush took one of his shots at Clinton when he addressed the crowd at a fundraiser for Representative David Young (R-Iowa) at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa on Friday night.
“This president is the first president, I believe, in the post World War II era that does not believe American power is a force for good in the world … not good for us or the world, and his pullback has created uncertainty, instability and now greater risks for the homeland, ” Bush said, adding, “There’s a lot of things that we need to restore. This President and by the way, his former Secretary of State, have let us down in this regard.”
In a separate media interview on Friday, Bush also weighed in on the scandal that erupted last week regarding Clinton’s use of a personal email address to conduct official business while she was secretary of state. He criticised Clinton’s actions as a “baffling” security risk.
“For security purposes, you need to be behind a firewall that recognises the world for what it is and it’s a dangerous world and security would mean that you couldn’t have a private server,” Bush told Radio Iowa about the news, adding, “It’s a little baffling, to be honest with you, that didn’t come up in Secretary Clinton’s thought process.”
Attacking Clinton’s record at the State Department is a strategy many Republicans have indicated they will use heading into the 2016 race. In his Playbook newsletter on Monday morning, Mike Allen, noted Joe Pounder, the president of the GOP opposition research firm America Rising emailed reporters a Washington Post article that suggested Clinton’s record at the agency could be a “liability.” Along with the article, Pounder attached a note.
“The point of this headline cannot be understated for its importance to framing the next two years,” Pounder wrote.
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