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Jeb Bush Embraces George W. Bush’s Foreign Policy

Jeb Bush’s foreign policy is just as bad as one would expect:

If Jeb Bush is elected president, the United States won’t be on speaking terms with Cuba and will partner more closely with Israel. He’ll tighten sanctions on Iran and urge NATO to deploy more troops in Eastern Europe to counter Vladimir Putin. And he’ll order the U.S. military to root out “barbarians” and “evildoers” around the globe.

That certainly doesn’tcomeas a shock, but it should put to rest any lingering doubts about the kind of foreign policy George W. Bush’s brother supports. Despite the presence of one or two realists among his foreign policy advisers, Bush was never going to campaign as a realist, which just makes the hawkish panic over James Baker’s connection to his campaign that much more laughable.

The article goes on to say that Jeb Bush isn’t repudiating his brother’s views. On the contrary, he is “embracing them — and emphasizing them.” Of course he is. There was never any reason to expect him to do anything else. Granted, it is politically foolish for any Republican candidate to endorse Bush-era foreign policy, but that doesn’t stop almost all of them from doing it. Being identified with George W. Bush remains a political liability whether any of these candidates wants to admit it. Being identified with one of the most costly and disastrous parts of the last administration’s record is even worse. It is harder for Bush’s brother to avoid being identified with that record than it is for other candidates, but he is making clear that he has no desire to distance himself from that record. He evidently doesn’t think there was anything seriously wrong with how his brother conducted foreign policy, and his candidacy should be judged accordingly.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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