Jeb Bush Confronted By College Student: ‘Your Brother Created ISIS’ – HuffPo
A college student told likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Wednesday that his brother, former President George W. Bush, was to blame for the rise of the Islamic State.
The heated confrontation took place at a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, according to The New York Times. Ivy Ziedrich, 19, a student at the University of Nevada, approached the former Florida governor to question him about comments he had made during the event. Bush had argued that the Obama administration’s weak foreign policy was responsible for the rise of the terrorist group, also known as ISIS, in the Middle East.
Ziedrich countered that Obama wasn’t to blame — and that it was his predecessor’s decision to disband the Iraqi army that made the group’s formation possible.
“Your brother created ISIS,” she told Bush.
What followed was a contentious exchange, according to the Times. Ziedrich accused Bush of “spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars,” pointing out that under his brother, the U.S. had spent years in the Middle East, waging “pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism.”
Bush responded by defending the war in Iraq. “When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, al Qaeda had been taken out,” he said. “There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.”
Bush has had difficulty distancing himself from his brother’s controversial foreign policy legacy, chiefly the Iraq war. On Monday, he fumbled a question about whether he would have authorized the war if he had today’s intelligence, responding that he would have. He later claimed to have misheard the question, and then backtracked and refused to give a definitive answer, saying instead that “mistakes were made.” At the town hall on Wednesday, he shrugged off further questions about the war by claiming they were “hypotheticals” and “a disservice for a lot of people that sacrificed a lot.”
Bush has advocated a hawkish approach to dealing with the Islamic State, and has repeatedly criticized Obama for not combating the extremist group more aggressively.
“Restrain them, tighten the noose and then take them out,” Bush said in February.
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