Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is blaming Hillary Clinton for the rise of the Islamic State. Bush has gone on to claim that he would authorize military involvement in the form of U.S. forces acting as forward “spotters” to help in spotting ISIS targets for airstrikes. The attack on Clinton is aimed at exposing her weaknesses as former Secretary of State, but could just serve to open old wounds associated with Jeb’s last name.
Republican presidential candidate Bush on Tuesday attacked Clinton by critiquing her record as Secretary of State. While giving a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Bush openly stated that Clinton shares the blame for the rise of ISIS.
In his sharp attack, he said that both Clinton and President Obama supported an early withdrawal from Iraq, a move that ultimately led to the formation and spread of ISIS.
Bush said, “That premature withdrawal was the fatal error, creating the void that ISIS moved in to fill. Where was the secretary of state, Secretary of State Clinton, in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge, then joined in claiming credit for its success, then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.”
Bush went after an area Clinton sees herself as having the most experience in: foreign policy. He continued the assault, “In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once.”
In attacking her directly, Bush set the pace for what could possibly be the second Bush-Clinton presidential clash in history, though he did it at the risk of shooting himself in the foot particularly with regard to his brother and father’s war records.
Former President George Bush, Jeb’s father, authorized the first invasion of Iraq in 1990. Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush authorized a similar invasion in 2003.
Mindful of old wounds, Jeb steered clear of the past and focused his speech on future action in Iraq. He said he would send more troops into Iraq to combat the rapid spread of the Islamic State. “Right now, we have around 3,500 soldiers and marines in Iraq, and more may well be needed. We do not need, and our friends do not ask for, a major commitment of American combat forces,” he said.
A Bush – Clinton presidential clash would be a titanic battle pitting one of the most powerful families in America against one of the most popular. In the previous encounter, the Clintons came out on top. In this new bout, Bush is showing his eagerness to draw first blood.