How many ways are there to interpret Megyn Kelly's question to Jeb Bush?
Here is what she asked. "Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?"
That's a pretty straightforward question, and he gave a forthright answer, which he is now walking away from, with the assistance of Fox News and Megyn Kelly in particular.
Kelly opined that she believed he was trying to answer the question of whether he would have authorized it at the time, but that she doesn't believe he meant he would still do it today.
I call bullshit. That question was crystal clear, and he said what he meant.
But Fox News quickly helped Bush whitewash his comments as a misinterpretation. On May 11, soon after the interview aired, Kelly said that Bush was trying to answer a different question.
On the May 12 edition of his radio show, Fox's Sean Hannity gave Bush a platform to "clarify" his comments because "The media seems to be taking it another way and I wanted to see if I could clarify that today." Bush claimed that he "interpreted the question wrong" but argued "I don't know what that decision would have been" on invading Iraq.
Later on The Kelly File, Kelly discussed Bush's comments with Fox senior political analyst Brit Hume. Hume argued that Bush "clearly misunderstood your question, although the question was quite straightforwardly posed." Hume added that Bush's answer was "clearly and unmistakably an answer to a question about what you would have done had you not known what we know now."
Whether he was answering it in the past tense or the present tense is irrelevant. It was a mistake then, it would be a mistake now, and it cost this country dearly in ways we haven't yet begun to count.
No responsible media outlet should be whitewashing that answer.