The most extraordinary kerfuffle has broken out between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. You may recall that during the second Republican debate, when Trump said that the poor record of George W. Bush helped lead to the election of Barack Obama in 2008 and was a reason to be wary of his brother, Jeb Bush made the assertion to loud applause that his brother had ‘kept us safe’.
A lot of people, me included, were incredulous and thought that this was preposterous thing to say since the attacks of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks both occurred while GWB was president. And yet not a single other candidate nor the moderator pointed out this obvious fact because clearly there has been a Republican consensus to pretend as if GWB’s presidency began on September 12, 2001. It is quite an extraordinary attempt at manipulation of historical perceptions.
But now Donald Trump has broken this silent pact and pointed out this obvious truth. In an interview with Bloomberg News, in response to why he was the best candidate, he said:
“OK, I think I have a bigger heart than all of them,” Trump said during a television interview with Bloomberg, when asked how Americans can depend on him to keep them safe. “I think I’m much more competent than all of them. When you talk about George Bush – I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time,” Trump stated.
Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle, who was conducting the interview, said, “Hold on! You can’t blame George Bush for that.”
“He was president, OK?” Trump replied. “Blame him or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.”
But simply stating this act has caused an uproar in Republican circles and now a Twitter war has broken out between him and JB that is pretty adolescent in its tone. JB lashed out at Trump, saying “How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked & my brother kept us safe” to which Trump replied that “At the debate you said your brother kept us safe- I wanted to be nice & did not mention the WTC came down during his watch, 9/11.”
So was GWB president when 9/11 happened? Judd Legum takes a look at the evidence and after carefully weighing all of it, comes to the conclusion that GWB was indeed the president when the attack occurred.
So that’s that: Donald Trump 1, Jeb Bush 0.
UPDATE: On CNN today Jeb Bush struggles to explain why Trump’s comments are wrong when the Republicans blame Benghazi on Obama and Hillary Clinton.