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Washington - George W. Bush: Jeb Should Stop Defending Him

Published on: October 31, 2015 11:20 PM
By: Reuters 
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File: Former President George W. Bush (R) and his brother Jeb Bush, in Miami July 31, 2006. (Credit: Reuters/Jim Young)File: Former President George W. Bush (R) and his brother Jeb Bush, in Miami July 31, 2006. (Credit: Reuters/Jim Young)

Washington - Former President George W. Bush believes his brother Jeb should stop defending the White House decisions the elder Bush made, and he is seeking to reassure jittery supporters about the health of Jeb’s campaign, according to sources.

Some of Jeb Bush’s most difficult moments on the campaign trail have come when he has gotten caught up in a debate about George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003.

More recently, Jeb Bush responded aggressively when Republican rival Donald Trump charged that the former president did not keep the United States safe because the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks took place on his watch.

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Jeb Bush’s lackluster performance at Wednesday’s debate in Boulder, Colorado, further fueled a narrative of a candidate who is struggling to find his footing and who has been forced to cut payroll and staff in response to declining campaign donations.

At a Washington hotel on Thursday, George W. Bush addressed hundreds of people who had worked in his administration. Attendees at the event said the 69-year-old former president was funny and self-deprecating and appeared to be at peace with himself and his record.

A participant said Jeb Bush’s struggling campaign came up only briefly in the question-and-answer period. The elder Bush said it is still early in the race to choose a Republican nominee for the November 2016 presidential election and that his brother remains a strong candidate.

George W. Bush volunteered that Jeb may feel the need to defend him for familial reasons.

“But he should not feel the need to do it,” the participant said Bush told the group. “The decisions that he made back then were unique to that time and space and they don’t need to be defended by him or others today.”

George W. Bush later headlined a fundraising event in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood that a donor said raised at least $350,000 for his brother’s campaign.

Two attendees at this event, described as upbeat and positive, reported that George W. Bush said Jeb can recover from his debate performance last week.

“He said that he believes in his brother, that he has a strong record, that he has it in his heart and his gut to do it,” said one major donor who attended.

Bush noted his own ability to come back after being defeated by John McCain in the New Hampshire primary in 2000.

“He said campaigns are supposed to have ups and downs,” said another attendee. “If you can’t handle the ups and downs of the campaign, you can’t handle the ups and downs of the presidency.”

With another debate coming up in Milwaukee on Nov. 10, Jeb Bush, who served two terms as Florida’s governor, is seeking to reassure his supporters that he can perform better.

“We’ve got eight more debates,” he told MSNBC on Thursday. “I’m going to have to do what other candidates do, which is: Rudely interrupt, not answer the questions that are asked, and hopefully the debate moderators will actually ask more substantive questions as well.”

The Bush campaign hopes to rebound next week with events that will play to Bush’s strengths. His “Jeb can fix it” tour will coincide with the release of an e-book about his time in office. A big speech is planned on Monday in Tampa, Florida.

Eric Ferhnstrom, who was a senior adviser to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said Jeb Bush needs to project strength at the next debate.

“The problem for Jeb now is he is in a bit of a doom loop where bad news feeds on itself,” Ferhnstrom said. “It’s a long road to the White House and at some point everyone gets put against the ropes. The question is how quickly can you get off the ropes and back into the fight.”



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 31, 2015 at 11:27 PM Mark Levin Says:

Perhaps had W defended himself and his honor, JebbyPoo wouldn't feel compelled to do this. Instead, W let everyone step all over him.

2

 Nov 01, 2015 at 07:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Jeb was asked in the first debate who would be an ideal VP, and he answered "Margaret Thatcher", and then he added, "it would probably be illegal, but what the heck". That's why I don't want him President. I've had enough of the attitude "it would probably be illegal, but what the heck".

3

 Nov 01, 2015 at 04:06 PM Mark Levin Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Jeb was asked in the first debate who would be an ideal VP, and he answered "Margaret Thatcher", and then he added, "it would probably be illegal, but what the heck". That's why I don't want him President. I've had enough of the attitude "it would probably be illegal, but what the heck".

I'm no Bush fan but I think you are misunderstanding what he meant.

4

 Nov 01, 2015 at 04:45 PM Abramowitz Says:

Bush #43 was no intellectual. For eight months, he and his administration ignored reports of a probable terrorist attack on the USA. When the attack came, he decided to invade Iraq, and used 9/11/01, as a pretext. The 9/11 Commission report, conclusively stated that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with that attack. However, Bush didn't care one way or the other, as he wanted Saddam's head, for allegedly plotting against Bush #41. The result was that the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused instability to that area, and helped create ISIS. The people of Iraq have less security today, than in 2003, and less electricity. However, Bush, Cheney, Karl Rove, and Rumsfeld will NEVER admit that they made a mistake with the Iraq War. At lease, Bush #41 knew better than to invade Iraq, and occupy that country. His staff, including General Bren Scowcroft were on record as being against the 2003 invasion. Jeb Bush doesn't have the decency to state outright, that his brother made a huge blunder in invading Iraq. Therefore, he should not be supported, and he should drop out of the race!

5

 Nov 01, 2015 at 11:51 PM Anonymous Says:

When nObama will get up and say that his Failed Healthcare law that will bankrupt this country (what does he care.... Let's borrow another few trillion) or the deal with Iran that will put our only ally in the Middle East in grave danger then Bush 43 will admit to his mistakes....

6

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