These 2016 Candidates Are Definitely Not Experts

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Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with workers at an electric station on the 1992 Buscapade campaign tour in Waco, Texas
Photo: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Getty Images

Jeb Bush is not an expert. Last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the former Florida governor even confessed that he wasn’t an expert in Washington politics — though he sure seems eager to take part in them. 

Bush is not alone in not being an expert. As you can see below, other 2016 presidential possibilities have invoked this necessary caveat when seeking to comment on things they have no business talking about — or when trying to avoid subjects they’d rather not comment on. 

Jeb Bush
Soundbites

“The issue is to do it with joy in your heart in a way that’s different. I honestly believe we are at the precipice of the greatest time in this country. I believe in my core. So if you’re going to share in that belief, you can’t get sucked into that vortex of narrowing everything you say into one liners that are safe. I’m not an expert on this.”

California law
“I obviously am not an expert on California law or the state’s constitution.”

Washington
“I’m not an expert on the ways of Washington. … I’m not an expert on that.”

Definitely Washington
“I’m for anything that’s reasonable. I’m not an expert in the processes up here.”

Hillary Clinton
Cloud computing

“I’m not an expert on software-defined storage or the intricacies of cloud computing.”

Oil and gas exploration and drilling
“I am not an expert in oil and gas exploration and drilling. What the oil and gas industry tells us is that they are now in a position to take advantage of this, and actually our majors are among the very limited number of such companies anywhere in the world.”

Scott Walker
Illinois’ economy

“While I’m not an expert on the fiscal challenges facing Illinois, based on media reports I’ve read and stories I’ve heard from visiting your state, there are major budgetary issues that need to be resolved. Illinois faces a fiscal and economic crisis.”

Rand Paul
Coal mining

“The bottom line is I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making (mining) rules.”

Marco Rubio
Democratic primaries

“But I’m not really an expert on Democratic primaries, so I don’t know the answer to that question, other than to say that, you know, certainly, they’ll have their own process for deciding a candidate.”

Michigan’s right-to-work law
“Now, I’m not an expert on the Michigan law. I don’t know all the details of it.”

The mind-set of ISIS
“Anything’s possible and I’m certainly not an expert on the culture – but I think it’s going to be really hard for an Islamist to go to one of these one guys who was thanking us, who thought America was on their side, and convince them to join some sort of anti-American jihad in a couple of years.”

Ben Carson
Foreign policy

Carson, a political novice, did admit that he’s “not an expert in all international affairs.”

Mike Huckabee
Foreign policy

“I’m not an expert [on foreign policy], but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Joe Biden
Ukraine

“But I also think — it’s easy for me to say — there’s an expression in English, it says, an expert is anyone from out of town with a briefcase. Well, I don’t have a briefcase, and I’m not an expert.”

Martin O’Malley
Hillary Clinton’s emails

“I’m not an expert on federal requirements or state requirements, and I’m, frankly, a little sick of the email drama.”

Ted Cruz and Chris Christie are apparently experts in everything, as they seem to have never said otherwise.