Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) isn’t backing off one of the most controversial parts of his brother’s record in the White House.
In an interview that aired Sunday, Jeb Bush said former President George W. Bush made the right call to invade Iraq in 2003, given the information available to him at the time.
“Newsflash to the world if they’re trying to find big space between me and my brother: This might not be one of those,” Jeb Bush told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.
Bush, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, noted the most prominent Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also backed the Iraq war at the time. Clinton has since said it was a mistake. The invasion is now widely unpopular, especially after the US didn’t find weapons of mass destruction, which were the primary justification for the war.
“I would have [authorised the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would have almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got. In retrospect, the intelligence that everybody saw, that the world saw, not just the United States, was faulty,” Bush said.
Bush also said he agreed with his brother about mistakes that were made after the invasion. He argued the American military didn’t do enough to create “security” for the Iraqi people, which led to a power vacuum seized by US enemies.
“In retrospect, once we invaded and took out Saddam Hussein, we didn’t focus on security first. And the Iraqis, in this incredibly insecure environment, turned on the United States military because there was no security for themselves and their families,” he said. “By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush.”
Bush’s defence of his brother on Iraq could lead to additional criticism of his candidacy. Democrats have repeatedly tie Bush to his brother and cast doubt on his claim he’s his “own man” and not an extension of his brother or father, who also served as president.
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