Tags: Trump Administration | Hillary Clinton | Jeb Bush | Iraq war | Jeb Bush | Hillary Clinton | 2016

Politico: Iraq War a Hurdle for Jeb, Hillary

Politico: Iraq War a Hurdle for Jeb, Hillary
(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images; Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:04 PM

Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton share a common white elephant in their 2016 campaigns for the presidency: the Iraq War.

Bush, the former governor of Florida who has not yet announced his candidacy, bumbled a question on the subject during an interview aired Monday on Fox News in which he said even with the information known now, he still would have authorized the invasion.

"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," he told host Megyn Kelly.

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On Sean Hannity's radio show the following day, Bush explained that he "interpreted the question wrong."

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"I was talking about, given what people knew then, would you have done it, rather that knowing what we know now," he told Hannity. "And knowing what we know now, clearly there were mistakes as it related to faulty intelligence in the lead up to war and the lack of focus on security. My brother has admitted this, and we have to learn from that."

Even with the clarification, Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer contends that neither Bush — nor Clinton — deserves to occupy the White House based on their mercurial views about the Iraq War.

"The fact that Bush didn't speak with absolute clarity about his Iraq War views signals that (1) he hasn't done his homework; (2) he didn't expect the question; or (3) he still thinks the war was a good idea that wasn't prosecuted directly. Or, god forbid, maybe a combination of all three," Shafer wrote.

Clinton's positions are equally as precarious, according to Shafer.

While a senator representing New York, Clinton voted in 2002 to authorize military action "and then literally played the 'if we knew then what we know now' card in a December 2006 appearance on Today," he writes.

Her "switcheroo" contributed in large part to her losing the 2008 Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois who had opposed the authorization to invade, he said.

Both candidates' positions on the war have evolved over time, according to Politifact, which reports that Bush told reporters at an event in Florida in February that he would not be discussing the war or "re-litigating anything in the past." But during a question-and-answer session in Chicago that same month, he acknowledged that "there were mistakes made in Iraq, for sure," and said the intelligence about weapons of mass destruction "turned out not to be accurate."

"Bush also faulted his brother's administration for failing to create 'an environment for security' in Iraq after the removal of Hussein," according to Politifact.

Clinton has repeatedly tried to mitigate her vote, including in her 2014 book "Hard Choices," Politifact reports, but acknowledged that she should have "stated my regret sooner and in the plainest, most direct language possible."

She defended her vote by saying that she "had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had," while pointing out that "I wasn't alone in getting it wrong."

Shafer opines that Americans want a leader brave enough to "change a flawed position and accept blame," but that the presidency ought to go to a candidate who "saw through the intelligence 'failure.'"

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Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton share a common white elephant in their 2016 campaigns for the presidency: the Iraq War.
Iraq war, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, 2016, elections
Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:04 PM
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