Saturday at CBS’s Republican presidential primary debate, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump got into a heated exchange over the foreign policies of Jeb’s brother, former President George W. Bush.
Partial transcript as follows:
DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, on Monday, George W. Bush will campaign in South Carolina for his brother. As you said tonight, and you’ve often said, the Iraq war and your opposition to it was a sign of your good judgment. In 2008, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer talking about George W. Bush’s conduct, you said you were surprised Nancy Pelosi didn’t try to impeach him. You said, “which personally I think would have been a wonderful thing.” When you were asked what you meant by that, you said, “For the war. He got us into the war with lies.” Do you think President Bush should have been impeached?
TRUMP: “I have to say, as a businessman, I get along with everybody. I have business all over the world. I know so many of the people in the audience. By the way, I’m a self-funder. I have my wife and I have my son. I don’t have this. That’s all I have. So let me just tell you, I get along with everybody, which is my obligation to my company, myself, et cetera. Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right. now, you can take it any way you want, and it took– it took Jeb Bush– if you remember at the beginning of his announcement, when he announced for president, it took him five days. He went back, it was a mistake, it wasn’t a mistake. It took him five days before his people told him what to say, and he ultimately said it was a mistake. The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don’t even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.
DICKERSON: Do you think he should have been impeached?
TRUMP: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I will tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction
BUSH: I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he’s had. And I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me. it’s blood sport for him. He enjoys it. And I’m glad he’s happy… I’m sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I’m proud of what he did. And he’s had the gall to go after.
TRUMP: The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign. Remember that.
BUSH: He’s had the gall to go after my mother.
TRUMP: That’s not keeping us safe.
BUSH: My mom is the strongest woman I know. This is not about my family or his family. This is about the South Carolina families that need someone to be the commander in chief that can lead. I’m that person.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN