New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he would advise Jeb Bush to stop talking about the Iraq War if he were working on his presidential campaign.
Christie, according to CNN,
made the comments about his Republican presidential rival on Laura Ingraham's radio show.
During a speech Tuesday night, Bush pointed to President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for escalating the situation in the Middle East by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
"So eager to be the history-makers, they failed to be the peacemakers," Bush said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Rushing away from danger can be every bit as unwise as rushing into danger, and the costs have been grievous."
Christie took issue with Bush's decision to bring up the Iraq War.
"It's bad decision-making by Gov. Bush, but I'm not running his campaign," Christie said, according to CNN. "This should've been handled by Gov. Bush the same way it's been handled by any of the other candidates who understand how to do this, which is to say, 'Listen, if we knew then what we knew now, we wouldn't have gone into Iraq.'"
Bush has been dogged by questions about Iraq because his brother, President George W. Bush, started the conflict in 2003. Before that, the pair's father, George H.W. Bush, directed the Gulf War in 1990.
In May, after fumbling over a question regarding the Iraq War of this century, Bush clarified his stance on the matter.
"The focus should be, 'Knowing what we know now, Mr. President, should you have kept 10,000 troops in Iraq?'" Bush said, according to MSNBC.
"ISIS didn't exist when my brother was president. Al-Qaida in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was president. There were mistakes made in Iraq for sure, but the surge created a fragile but stable Iraq that the president could have built on and it would have not allowed ISIS [to grow]."
Bush has strong support in the polls and among Republicans, although he trails real estate mogul Donald Trump by several points. Christie, according to the latest Real Clear Politics numbers,
is further back in the top 10.
The prickly issue of the Iraq War
has the potential to disrupt the campaigns of Bush and Clinton as the primary season moves forward.
When asked whether he would have invaded Iraq as president, Bush said in May, "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."
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