Charles Sykes/NBC(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — Jeb Bush seems to have a talking point to explain why he hesitated so long to say, in hindsight, that the Iraq war was a mistake: He won’t “go out of [his] way” to disagree with his brother.
Bush said those words both at a press gaggle after the town hall where he finally gave his Iraq answer and in a speech to the RNC’s spring meeting in Flagstaff, Arizona, Thursday night.
He also said he has a hard time disagreeing with his family in public.
“There’s a lot of people out there [in the room] from the press, and there’s a lot of interest in finding the ways that we’re different and all this,” Bush said. “But I’m not going to go out of my way to say that, you know, my brother did this wrong or my dad did this wrong. It’s just not gonna happen. I have a hard time with that. I love my family a lot.”
Earlier on Thursday, Bush had seemingly concluded a nearly week-long drama over whether he would have invaded Iraq if he had been president in 2003, given what is now known: that history did not bear out the intelligence purporting Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, one of the main points President George W. Bush cited in making a case to Congress and the U.S. public for supporting an invasion in 2003.
Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters after a town-hall-style meeting at a brewery in Tempe, Arizona, Bush also said he would not “go out of my way” to disagree with his brother.
“I am loyal to him,” Bush said.
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