It’s been a bad week for 2016 GOP contender Jeb Bush, and the damage to his campaign may be irreparable. Only time will tell.
On Monday, Bush told Fox News host Megyn Kelly that knowing what we now know about the situation in Iraq and the lack of weapons of mass destruction, he too would have supported invasion, just as his brother, George W. Bush did.
Now, however, we have Jeb going on Sean Hannity’s radio show and walking back his comments. He told Hannity:
“I interpreted the question wrong, I guess. I was talking about given what people knew then, would you have done it, rather than knowing what we know now. And knowing what we know now, you know, clearly there were mistakes.”
Mistakes and lies, Governor. Nearly all of which were made by your brother and his evil mentor, Dick Cheney.
However, despite backing away partially from his earlier statement, Bush, notably, did not say the war itself was a mistake or that he would have refused to authorize the use of military force. Instead, he tried to finesse the question and used weasel words:
“I don’t know what that decision would have been, that’s a hypothetical.The simple fact is mistakes were made…And so we need to learn from the past to make sure we’re strong and secure going forward.”
Good luck trying to tease any sense or reason out of that statement.
GOP strategists were out in full force in an attempt to deflect criticism away from the former Governor of Florida. Rich Galen remarked:
“I mean, people are reading everyday about ISIS and Iran, and it’s a different time and place, and we’re looking at different issues.?I’m not sure that it matters one way or another 18 months away. We’ll see what else is on peoples minds at the time.”
But Democratic pollster Peter Hart said Bush’s remarks will only harm his chances of being nominated or elected:
“Iraq has such a strong stench in terms of the American public. It is a sense that we made a huge mistake, and we were afraid to admit it.?And the challenge for Jeb Bush is to establish his credentials rather than getting caught and enmeshed in his brothers administration.”
One thing is certain: The issue is not going away, and Jeb Bush had better decide on a position one way or the other. He cannot afford to be seen as indecisive or unsure. Considering that one of his foreign policy advisers is none other than Dubya, he might just want to go ahead and concede the race to someone else.