Someone please explain this to me… Jeb Bush? What the hell?
Jeb Bush is a career politician. He has been planning on running for president for years, if not decades. He has been studying. He has advisers. He knew he was going to get the question about Iraq. This was a no-brainer. This was an easy softball down the middle of the plate from someone who throws nothing but softballs to conservatives – Megan Kelly.
I don’t believe for one minute that he misheard the question. But let’s go with that. Let’s assume that Jeb Bush misheard Megan Kelly’s question. Remember, the question was whether he would have gone into Iraq knowing what we know now. So, Jeb Bush calls into Sean Hannity’s radio show the next day. This is another friendly environment. No reason to be nervous. There’s no reason for the misspeak. As a matter fact, because this is radio show, you could have a script in front of you and read from it. Sean Hannity gives him the benefit of the doubt and asks him the exact same question again. Jeb Bush’s brain dead answer, “I don’t know what that decision would’ve been. That’s a hypothetical.”
This has little or nothing to do with the legacy of George W. Bush. Instead, this was a hypothetical question which anyone running for president should’ve anticipated. What Jeb Bush did was worse than fumble the ball. He basically got nervous and messed in his pants – multiple times. The only answer to the Iraq question has to be no. I would not have ordered the invasion. Then you can put whatever spin you want on that answer. Why? We now know every single premise that was put forth to go into Iraq was wrong. We know they were all wrong. Iraq was not developing nuclear weapons. We know that the aluminum tubes were not to be used for centrifuges, but instead were going to be used for missiles. Iraq had but was not currently developing chemical weapons. We also know that Iraq was not working with Al Qaeda. The three premises for the war were wrong. We know that now in 2015. We have the clarity of 20/20 hindsight.
I don’t blame Jeb Bush or any politician for an on the spot error. When you’re in these television or radio interviews, some of the questions can come out of left field. Yet, this was not a question from left field. This was a question that he should have planned for and he should have had a pat answer ready. Even if you give him the benefit of doubt that he screwed up on Fox News with Megan Kelly, what’s the excuse for calling in to Sean Hannity’s show only to do the equivalent of Roberto Durrant’s, “No Mas” (in the title fight versus Sugar Ray Leonard) and then cop out and say it was hypothetical? Of course it’s a hypothetical question.
Here’s how many thoughtful conservative should’ve answered that question – Megan, of course, this is a hypothetical question in which we can use our perfect 20/20 hindsight. We now know there were no weapons of mass destruction. We know there was no meeting in Prague. We know that the aluminum tubes were going to be used for missiles and not centrifuges. We know that there were no mobile chemical weapon stations. Therefore, there was no reason to invade Iraq. Using our perfect vision, we should have continued the UN inspections and expanded the no-fly zones in both northern and southern Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a wildcard. We needed to keep him boxed in.
The good news for Jeb Bush is that he fumbled the ball very early in this campaign. The bad news is no one is going to let him forget it.