The news media is going to have to get ESPN’s Chris “Boomer” Berman to narrate what Beltway media villager Chris Cillizza called Jeb Bush’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week: “He’s fumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’” over a question that J.E.B. had years to anticipate and to prepare to answer.
As Steve Benen noted, Jeb Bush sheds his ‘aura of competence’. Maybe he’s really not the smarter brother after all.
More from Steve Benen. Fourth time’s the charm? (modified):
For those keeping track at home:
On Monday, “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he would have launched the war anyway.
On Tuesday: “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he doesn’t know what he would have done.
On Wednesday: “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he doesn’t even want to answer the question at all, because a response would be a “disservice” to U.S. troops.
And on Thursday: “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he wouldn’t have launched the war:
After days of equivocation, Jeb Bush on Thursday declared: ”Knowing what we know now, what would we have done, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.” […]
His clarification needed a clarification, which needed further clarifying.
The headline on Gail Collins’ New York Times column continues to stand out: “Wow, Jeb Bush is awful.”
Worse than that: J.E.B. is also lying in an attempt to put this question behind him with the feckless media villagers.
Don’t forget that J.E.B. has tapped the Neocon advisers of his brother “C-Plus Augustus” who gave us the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq for his campaign. Jeb Bush vows to set his own course while tapping longtime family advisers; Jeb Bush’s foreign policy team is eerily familiar, in one Venn Diagram.
J.E.B. Bush represents the “third term” of “C-Plus Augustus” and the return of the Neocons. These guys want to get their war on with Iran.
UPDATE: What did I tell you? Back to Iraq! Real men go to Tehran! Jeb Bush clarifies yet again: We should ‘re-engage’ in Iraq, ‘do it in a more forceful way’:
It’s been what, an hour or so, but Jeb Bush is once again feeling the need to clarify his stance on the Iraq War. By God he’s going to keep doing this until he finds a way to make everybody happy.
Reporter: “What’s the way forward in Iraq, sir?”Bush: “I think we need to re-engage, and do it in a more forceful way than—the president is very reluctant for whatever reason to make a clear commitment that we should have kept, you know, 5,000, 10,000 troops there. There’s been success since we reengaged.”
“Well, at least his war strategies match his campaign strategies: When you find yourself in a hole, just keep digging until your shovel strikes daylight.”