By: Hanna Humphreys
Has Jeb Bush ruined all chances of becoming the Presidential nominee in 2016? For the candidate previously polled most likely to earn the Republican nomination in next year’s primaries, the past week has consisted of one mistake after the next. Bush’s consecutive aberrations have not gone unnoticed by the public, and the media’s attention has been pointed directly at the former Florida governor.
Jeb Bush started his campaign earlier this year running on the slogan “I’m my own man,” meant to undermine his political reliance on his father and brother, both former GOP presidents with questionable, if not negative, reputations, especially regarding US foreign policy. This week, however, when confronted in a private conference about from whom he seeks advice about conflict in the Middle East, Bush was quick to answer his older brother, George. Several sources, including CNN, have mocked Bush, going so far as to call him “Jeb W. Bush.” Furthermore, 17 of Bush’s 21 foreign policy advisers were also advisers to his brother.
When asked about the invasion of Iraq in 2002, Bush’s misstep only furthered when he emphatically supported the war effort, then later changed his answer several times, eventually claiming the war was a bad idea, using a phrase that is sure to haunt him through the rest of his campaign, “knowing what we know now… I would not have engaged.”He continued with clumsy answers throughout the rest of the week, even citing Hillary Clinton’s vote in favor of the war, a decision which Clinton outwardly regrets, calling it a poor decision in her autobiography Hard Choices.
Perhaps Bush could have fixed his snafu if only he were able to sound more articulate. Similar to his brother George W., Jeb is constantly struggling to sound educated. In his interview with Sean Hannity, he was recorded saying, “I was talking about given what people knew then, would you have done it, rather than knowing what we know now.” Is this what we should be looking for as our commander in chief?
Photo from ABC News