Likely 2016 candidate Jeb Bush wants to make it clear that he doesn’t always agree with the two presidents in his immediate family … except when it comes to the one issue that defined both of their presidencies. In a clip from a Fox News interview that airs Monday, Megyn Kelly asks if Bush would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, “knowing what we know now.” “I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” the former Florida governor replied.
In her book Hard Choices, Clinton said she regrets voting to authorize the war when she was New York’s senator. “I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple,” she wrote. Earlier this year Bush admitted there were “mistakes made in Iraq, for sure.” He described some of those mistakes to Kelly, saying it’s now clear the intelligence was “faulty,” and “we didn’t focus on security first” after taking out Saddam Hussein.
“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush,” he added, a bit testily. “So just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”
Bush has assured Hugh Hewitt that his family’s legacy wouldn’t make him more hesitant to use military force in the Middle East, and as the Washington Post notes, last week Bush told potential financial backers that W. is his top adviser on U.S.-Israel policy, saying, “If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him.” The former Florida governor has been slipping in the polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, so enthusiastically defending his brother’s most controversial act as president might not be a smart move. Then again, it’s still early in the campaign. Maybe Hillary will declare that the only thing she’d try to replicate from her husband’s administration is the never-ending parade of scandals.