Former Florida governor and possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush spoke at a town-hall meeting in Reno, Nevada yesterday, and a 19-year-old college student went after him the way we wish the mainstream media treated politicians.
During the meeting, Bush argued that “America’s retreat from the Middle East under President Obama had contributed to the growing power of the Islamic State [ISIS],” the New York Times reported.
Just after the meeting had finished and Bush was signing autographs, Ivy Ziedrich, a political science major from the University of Nevada, asked if he would be willing to take a student question.
“It was when 30,000 individuals who were part of the Iraqi military were forced out — they had no employment, they had no income, and they were left without access to all the same arms and weapons,” said Ziedrich. “Your brother created ISIS.”
“Alright. Is that a question,” Bush asked.
“You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir,” Ziedrich told the former governor.
“Pedantic? Wow,” he responded.
“Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle east when it’s pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars.”
Bush then rattled off the same GOP talking points that always get brought up when someone correctly blames his brother’s administration for the mess in Iraq.
“When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence. And we had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops … could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress. The result was that the opposite occurred.”
With that, the conversation was over and Bush turned away.
And while he has made no official announcement about his candidacy, Bush did say “I am running for president in 2016” in response to a question from a Washington Post reporter. Ziedrich should follow him on his campaign trail. Her questions about Iraq were better than any the mainstream media outlet has pitched at him.