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Raúl Mas: Jeb Bush Badgered With 'Silly' Hypothetical on Iraq

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:49 PM

While pundits left and right this week are panning Jeb Bush for how he handled a question about Iraq, one political observer tells Newsmax TV that the hypothetical first posed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News — "Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?" — is just the press playing gotcha.

"It's really a sort of a silly question to begin with," Raúl Mas, a Miami businessman and conservative political and economic commentator, told "Newsmax Now" co-hosts John Bachman and Miranda Khan in a panel discussion joined by liberal radio talk show host Ari Rabin-Havt.

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"It's kind of like saying … if you had some sort of a crystal ball would have you have done things differently?" said Mas. "Of course you would have done things differently. The point he was trying to make is that nobody has a crystal ball."

"To sort of try and get a gotcha moment by saying would you basically go back and do it all over again, knowing what you know now — it's kind of silly," he said.

Nevertheless, the former Florida governor and presumptive GOP presidential candidate told Kelly he still would have gone into Iraq.

Their interview aired Monday. On Tuesday, he pulled back in the face of a political uproar and said "mistakes were made" in the war launched by his brother, President George W. Bush.

The Bush administration said Iraq had links to al-Qaida before 9/11 and possessed chemical, biological or nuclear weapons that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a threat to use — intelligence that proved incorrect as the U.S. occupation lengthened and turned bloody.

On Wednesday Jeb Bush told voters in Nevada that the hindsight question is a disservice to U.S. troops who fought in Iraq. On Thursday in Arizona, he completed a reversal and said, "Knowing what we know now, I would have not engaged. I would have not gone into Iraq."

Rabin-Havt, host of "The Agenda" on satellite radio and a former Democratic aide to Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, disagreed with Mas on the seriousness of the invasion hypothetical.

"Far be it for me to speak for any Republican or Republican candidate, but actually this is a critical issue," said Rabin-Havt. "And the fact that he has bounced around so much on this … that to me is actually more concerning than any of his individual answers — the fact that in a week's time, in one week, we've gotten three answers on this."

The panelists also discussed the case of a West Virginia mother suing her local board of education because her son was arrested, charged and suspended in 2013 for wearing an NRA t-shirt to school.

Rabin-Havt said he hopes the plaintiffs have a case.

"Political speech should be the highest form of protected speech in this country," he said, "and while obviously I'm not a supporter of the NRA, nor do I like them very much, telling someone they can't wear a t-shirt supporting what is clearly a large-scale political organization in this country is the basis of the First Amendment."

"I hope Ari likes me," joked Mas, a longtime NRA member.

"Free speech is free speech," said Mas. "You may not like it, you may not like people wearing an NRA t-shirt just as you may not like people trampling on the American flag and setting it aflame. But the fact of the matter is that we are entitled to express those opinions in the United States. It's what democracy is all about. It's about free speech, first and foremost, and I'm fully supportive of what his mother's doing."

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While pundits left and right this week are panning Jeb Bush for how he handled a question about Iraq, one political observer tells Newsmax TV that the hypothetical first posed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News...
jeb bush, invade, iraq, hypothetical
Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:49 PM
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