Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

50 Shades of Jeb: The (Non-)Candidate Has A New Answer on Iraq Every Day

Created: 15 May, 2015
Updated: 15 October, 2022
3 min read

Jeb Bush is expected to announce he is running for president in 2016 -- at some point. Right now, he is reportedly skirting campaign finance laws in order to build a super PAC that is "unprecedented in size and scope," according to Politico.

Bush is not the only candidate in the race who is challenging whatever campaign finance laws the U.S. has left after a number of Supreme Court rulings over the past few years. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that at least one super PAC is making plans to coordinate directly with Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Yes, if the 2016 presidential campaign has taught us anything so far, it is that the idea of campaign finance laws is as laughable in American politics as any suggestion that we have fair elections or a representative government.

But Jeb Bush has also made headlines for another reason this week: he can't seem to give a straight answer on Iraq.

In a segment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Stewart takes a look at the gradually and rapidly evolving position the (non-)presidential candidate has on whether or not going into Iraq was a mistake -- a drama that started on Fox News' The Kelly File and included one 19-year-old college student in Nevada who told him his brother created ISIS.

Let's start with the question from Megyn Kelly: "On the subject of Iraq -- obviously very controversial -- knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?"

Jeb Bush: "I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton ... and so would have almost everybody who was confronted with the intelligence they got."

Bush later said he misheard the question, which judging by his response seems to be the case because Kelly specifically said "knowing what we know now."

On May 12, Sean Hannity re-phrased the question and asked for clarification. In his response, Bush said "mistakes were made as they always are in life."

Not quite there yet, Jeb. Let's try it again.

On May 13, Bush said he admired the men and women (and for some reason felt the need to follow that with "mostly men") who made the ultimate sacrifice and said engaging in such hypotheticals does our troops a disservice.

Finally, on May 14, Bush said that if he had to answer a hypothetical like the one asked of him time and time again, he would not have sent troops into Iraq.

Granted, the question he was asked on Fox News put him in a precarious position politically. On one hand, there is what a majority of Americans believe, and that is in hindsight going to Iraq was a bad call. On the other hand, if Bush said from the very beginning that he would not have invaded Iraq, that would have thrown his big bro under the bus.

However, tip-toeing around the question just dragged the whole thing out longer than necessary and prevented the mainstream media from talking about other things to keep Americans distracted. The one thing Jeb is going to have to come to terms with in this election if he wants the GOP nomination and if he wants to win is that his last name is Bush, and that means answering some difficult questions.

But remember, we can't call him a candidate yet. At least, not officially, because he has not officially entered the race. Ask him about his campaign and he will remind you that he is not a candidate yet. He has to say that, because acknowledging he is running for president means shaky campaign finance laws now apply, which apparently candidates can get around anyway with ease.

Jeb Bush is one of the few candidates left who everyone knows is going to enter, is acting like a candidate, but refuses to be called a candidate.