Jeb Bush backtracks from saying he would have invaded Iraq in 2003

Expected presidential candidate says he misinterpreted the question

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The Independent US

Jeb Bush has backtracked days after saying he would have invaded Iraq in 2003 -- just like his brother George W. Bush did -- after his comments created backlash.

“I interpreted the question wrong, I guess,” the younger Bush told conservative Sean Hannity on Hannity's radio show. “I was talking about given what people knew then, would you have done it, rather than knowing what we know now. And knowing what we know now, you know, clearly there were mistakes.”

The question Mr Bush claims to have misinterpreted was, “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorised the invasion (of Iraq)?” He was asked by Megyn Kelly, another conservative talk-show host.

Mr Bush replied, “I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would have just about everybody that was confronted with the intelligence that they got.”

But those comments have created controversy as the war in Iraq remains widely unpopular in the US. In October, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 66 per cent of Americans say the war was not worth it.

Mr Bush did acknowledge that mistakes were made after invading, but stopped short of condemning the invasion.

“I don't know what that decision would have been, that's a hypothetical,” he said. “The simple fact is mistakes were made. ... And so we need to learn from the past to make sure we're strong and secure going forward.”


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