A friend and adviser of Jeb Bush said Tuesday morning that the likely 2016 presidential hopeful told her he had misheard a question [bold mine-DL] from Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host, about the war in Iraq, after his response created an uproar of criticism from the left and the right.
It’s hard to believe that Bush didn’t hear the question properly. Even if he “misheard” it that doesn’t make the answer he gave any better. Bush was using fairly typical Iraq war dead-ender talking points (i.e., “intelligence was faulty,” “mistakes were made later”), and I assume that he started calling them to mind as soon as he heard the word Iraq come from the interviewer’s lips. If he “misheard” the question, it was because he was already preparing to give the pat, unthinking answer on the subject that so many pro-war politicians have given before him.
Unrepentant war supporters have used these slogans for years to obscure the truth that waging a preventive war for regime change has been indefensible and outrageous all along. Like them, Bush doesn’t have the slightest idea that there might have been something wrong with launching an illegal war to “prevent” a threat that opponents knew at the time to be either grossly exaggerated or non-existent. It doesn’t matter what question Bush thought he was answering. He proved that he shouldn’t be trusted with the presidency based on the content of the answer he gave.