Jeb Bush in U-turn over whether he'd have invaded Iraq
Published 15/05/2015 | 02:30
Jeb Bush, seeking to end a controversy related to his brother's legacy, said yesterday that, based on information known now, he would not have launched an invasion into Iraq.
"Knowing what we know now, I would have not engaged, I would have not gone into Iraq," the likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate said at a town hall event.
The former Florida governor (right), who is expected to run for the Republican nomination, had told Fox News in an interview broadcast earlier in the week that "I would have" authorised the invasion that his brother, former president George W Bush, carried out in 2003.
The comment fed a narrative pushed by Democrats that Jeb Bush is little different from his brother, who left office in early 2009 with his popularity weakened by the Iraq war and a faltering US economy. Jeb Bush later said he misinterpreted the question. However, Mr Bush's stumbling attempts to say what he thought of the Iraq War have created an unexpected opening in the invisible primary. One by one, his likely rivals have been asked whether they would have supported the invasion of Iraq. They all said no.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has long opposed the war, has come out with the most brio. "To say that nothing would happen differently means we're going to get George Bush 3," he said. "That's a real problem if he can't articulate what he would have done differently."