Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said on Thursday during a campaign stop in Iowa that "taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal," according to multiple reports.Time magazine also reported this:
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday declined to rule out resuming the use of torture under some circumstances by the U.S. government.Does thar mean Jeb is starting to talk like a Trumpian tough guy? TPM's Josh Marshall seems to think so, or at least that he's reverting to a preppy, familial version of Trumpism:
You listen to Jeb and his language and you see palpably that this is a family drama in which he has inevitably taken sides and is too invested and too proud to try to conceal it in public. Even when it is clearly in his own self-interest.I dunno. I'd say he's Non-Swaggering Biff. Here's more from Caitlin Cruz's story on the Saddam quote:
Even the language has that weird brand of tough guy braggadocio that can't break free of the yacht basin or even quite want to. Swaggering Biff.
The [Daily] Beast reported that Bush went on to say he didn't want to hypothesize about what would have happened if his brother, former President George W. Bush, had not ordered the invasion of Iraq, which led to the toppling of Hussein.No, that's not swagger.
"Then that's back to the future and you could make a movie," Jeb Bush said, according to the Beast.
And, in fact, even the "deal" quote itself sounds wimpy, as reported by CNN:
But when asked if ISIS would be a problem today if the United States hadn't invade Iraq in the first place, Bush didn't have as firm of an answer.The same goes for Jeb's full statement on torture. This is from the Time story:
"That is such a complicated hypothetical," he said. "I'll tell you, though, taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a good deal."
“I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement,” Bush told an audience of Iowa Republicans, when asked whether he would keep in place or repeal President Barack Obama’s executive order banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA.Donald Trump has a toxic level of swagger, but for a presidential candidate, swagger in appropriate amounts is a good thing. Jeb works himself up to an eentsy level of swagger on rare occasions, mostly in connection to his family, especially his cocksure failure of a brother. Apart from that, he's swaggerless. This year, that doesn't seem to be a good posture in the GOP.
“This is something that I’m actually struggling with because I’m running for president ... and when you are president your words matter,” he said.
The former Florida governor said that in general, he believes torture is inappropriate, and that he was glad his brother, former President George W. Bush, largely ended the CIA’s use of the techniques before he left office.