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Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2015

Jeb Bush muddles questions on Iraq, Karl Rove defends Bush

The war in Iraq became a topic for likely 2016 Presidential candidate Jeb Bush when he was asked if “knowing what we know now, would you still invade Iraq.” After bumbling the response, Bush is trying to set the record straight as Karl Rove races to rescue the GOP reputation while Rand Paul and Ted Cruz attack the response.

Now, the former Florida governor said Thursday that “knowing what we know now, …I would not have engaged.”

“I would not have gone into Iraq,” he said.

The former Florida governor later claimed he misinterpreted the question. Yet given the chance for a do-over on Sean Hannity’s radio show earlier this week, Bush answered, “I don’t know what that decision would have been.”

He continued to give open-ended answers until Thursday, during the town hall event in Tempe, Ariz. He acknowledged he was initially reluctant to give that response, suggesting he did not want to dishonor the memories of soldiers lost.

The comments marked the fifth time this week that Bush sought to explain his position on Iraq, a controversy that began Monday with a muddied expression of support for the war. Jeb Bush later tried to clean up the mess by calling the query a “hypothetical,” and by Wednesday, he acknowledged he would have done things differently in Iraq.

Jeb Bush is signaling a run for president in 2016 donkeyhotey   donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Jeb Bush is signaling a run for president in 2016
donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

On Thursday, Bush argued that the invasion — though perhaps inspired by faulty intelligence had been beneficial, saying the world was “significantly safer” without Saddam Hussein in power.

Jeb Bush will have learned from this week’s firestorm over his Iraq War comments, says Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who helped steer his brother to the White House.

“He’s a very smart guy. He’s not a guy who needs the lesson taught to him twice,” Rove told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie on Friday.

Check out the clip below.

Ted Cruz, a declared GOP presidential candidate, also gave a clear response when asked on Fox News this week whether he would have authorized the Iraq invasion.

“Of course not,” he said. “I mean, the entire predicate of the war against Iraq was the intelligence that showed they had weapons of mass destruction and that there was a real risk they might use them.”

To The Washington Post, Sen. Rand Paul said: “To say that nothing would happen differently means we’re going to get George Bush 3.”

Former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell told FoxNews.com after the initial Bush interview, “I think this may have been the greatest political disaster he’s gonna have.”

 

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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