|And the truth shall set you free… From ever being the President|
Given the fact that the Iraq War is highly unpopular with the general electorate and both right and left leaning Americans believe the fight was not worth the lives lost and dollars spent it makes it all the more stunning to hear the words that came out of Jeb Bush's mouth yesterday.
While on home turf in an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush committed an unforced error on what appeared to be a lobbed softball question that should have been an easy teed up home run.
Here is that question that tripped up Jeb...
Megyn Kelly: On the subject of Iraq... obviously very controversial. Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?
Jeb Bush: I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would have almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.
Megyn Kelly: You don't think it was a mistake?
Jeb Bush: In retrospect the intelligence that everybody saw, that the world saw, not just the United States, was faulty. And 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. By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush. Yes, I mean, 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.
Not a good answer. So bad , in fact, was Gov. Bush's answer that prompted immediate outrage not only from the left but from several prominent conservatives as well who argued the stance would hurt Bush in the general election.
Here is the run down of right wing grievances...
Laura Ingraham, a Conservative radio host said of the comment...
"You can't still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to do. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you."
Roger Simon of Politico wrote that he's been left...
"to wonder just how many times Jeb was dropped on his head as a child."
Byron York of The Washington Examiner's was perhaps the most fervent in his criticism, calling Bush's response "disastrous":
"If Jeb Bush sticks to his position -- that he would still authorize war knowing what we know today -- it will represent a step backward for the Republican Party."
Today Bush tried to extinguish the fire his comments ignited by calling into Sean Hannity's radio show to set the record straight but instead only exaserbated the situation by saying....
“I interpreted the question wrong, I guess. I don’t know what that decision would have been -- that’s a hypothetical. Simple fact is, mistakes were made."
Bush's refusal to repudiate his brother' decision to attack Iraq based on lies his administration propped up will likely fail to assuage the conservatives whom now find themselves at odds with him and this astounding cock up.