Read time: 4 minutes

Politifact On Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton And The Iraq War

Jeb Bush does not understand what Hillary Clinton has said since her vote on the Iraq war.
Views:

Sounds like Jeb Bush was completely wrong about how Hillary Clinton would vote on the Iraq war, in light of the newest information. Even Politifact says so:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s comments on Fox News about the Iraq War brought up more questions than answers.

Did Bush fully understood the question posed by Megyn Kelly on May 10? We’ll go straight to the transcript.

Kelly: "On the subject of Iraq, very controversial, knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?"

Bush: "I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."

Kelly: "You don't think it was a mistake?"

Bush: "In retrospect, the intelligence that everybody saw, that the world saw, not just the United States, was faulty. And in retrospect, once we invaded and took out Saddam Hussein, we didn't focus on security first, and the Iraqis in this incredibly insecure environment turned on the United States military because there was no security for themselves and their families. By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush."

His remarks drew considerable attention: Was Bush saying that even knowing the intelligence was faulty, even he and Clinton would have gone to war anyway?

After the interview aired, Kelly said, "I do think, in fairness to Gov. Bush, when I said ‘knowing what we know now would you have invaded Iraq,’ I think he was trying to answer the question: ‘Do you think it was a mistake at the time?’ " she said. "That was my take on it in the interview. He wasn’t trying to say, ‘Still today I don’t there is an issue.’ "

Bush went on Sean Hannity’s radio show May 12 to clarify his remarks."I interpreted the question wrong, I guess," Bush said. "I was talking about, given what people knew then, would you have done it, rather that knowing what we know now. And knowing what we know now, clearly there were mistakes as it related to faulty intelligence in the lead up to war and the lack of focus on security. My brother has admitted this, and we have to learn from that."


↓ Story continues below ↓

Of course, it’s impossible to know with certainty how people would have acted if history were different. But we suspect Clinton would have answered the question differently than Bush.

How candidate Clinton and presidential contender Bush talk about the Iraq war will be a major foreign policy topic in the 2016 race, so we decided to take a look at their statements about the Iraq war.

Hillary Clinton
Clinton has said recently that she regrets her 2002 vote, which ended up being a stumbling block during her 2008 presidential campaign.In her 2014 book Hard Choices, Clinton said this about her vote:"While many were never going to look past my 2002 vote no matter what I did or said, I should have stated my regret sooner and in the plainest, most direct language possible. I’d gone most of the way there by saying I regretted the way President Bush used his authority and by saying that if we knew then what we later learned, there wouldn’t have been a vote. But I held out against using the word mistake. It wasn’t because of political expediency. After all, primary voters and the press were clamoring for me to say that word. When I voted to authorize force in 2002, I said that it was ‘probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make.’ I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."

On Meet the Press on Sept. 23, 2007, she said, "Well, I cast a sincere vote based on my assessment at the time, and I take responsibility for that vote. I also said on the floor that day that this was not a vote for pre-emptive war. ... Now, obviously, if I had known then what I know now about what the president would do with the authority that was given him, I would not have voted the way that I did."

She made similar comments on the Today Show on Dec. 18, 2006: "Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn't have been a vote, and I certainly wouldn't have voted for it."

Her decision in 2002 to vote for the Iraq war urged international co-operation and focused on Saddam Hussein’s atrocities. She described Hussein as "a tyrant" who used weapons to kill more than 20,000 people and that he blocked weapons inspections in 1998.

"A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our president and we say to him -- use these powers wisely and as a last resort," Clinton said in a speech on the Senate floor. "And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein -- this is your last chance -- disarm or be disarmed.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.