Once Again, a Bush Has an Iraq Problem

Democrats could use Jeb's support for invasion against him: Steve Holland
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2015 9:51 AM CST
Once Again, a Bush Has an Iraq Problem
In this Feb. 4, 2015 file photo, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

At a planned speech in Chicago this week, Jeb Bush is likely to start putting forward his foreign policy views, and the elephant in the room is Iraq, writes Steve Holland at Reuters. The country, of course, loomed large in the presidencies of his brother and his father; now, the question is whether he would operate differently. The former presidents aren't holding Jeb to their own views, a former administration official says. He needn't "subscribe to the same policy prescriptions that came before him. In fact, because of changed circumstances in the world, he'll have to chart his own course."

Jeb himself has suggested he won't dwell on the past when it comes to Iraq. "It's not about re-litigating anything," he said last week; he has also said the US must be "engaged" in dealing with ISIS, though that may not "mean boots on the ground in every case." The former Florida governor has previously backed his brother's invasion of the country. "I think a lot of people will respect the resolve that my brother showed both in defending the country and the war in Iraq," he said in 2013. That stance won't go over well with Democrats, who could use it against him, Holland writes. "It's a hard problem for him because he's obviously going to say that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do," says John Kerry's 2004 campaign manager. In other Bush family news, Jeb's mom says he can run. (More Jeb Bush stories.)

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