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A Family Comparison Jeb Bush May Welcome

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A Family Comparison Jeb Bush May Welcome

Jeb Bush talks

By Michael C Bender and Terrence Dopp, Bloomberg News (TNS)

WASHINGTON — As Jeb Bush tries to turn the page on Iraq, he’ll be inviting comparisons to another chapter of the family’s foreign policy legacy when he kicks off an overseas tour next month.

Bush’s aides have described the weeklong foreign trip in economic terms, saying the former Florida governor and probable Republican presidential candidate planned to discuss innovation and technology in the global economy during stops in Germany, Poland and Estonia. He’ll participate in a question-and-answer session during an economic conference on June 9 in Berlin, speaking after Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt, and before German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose political party is organizing the event.

There will also be obvious foreign policy implications. All three countries have been among Ukraine’s strongest supporters amid the country’s conflict with Russia. And for many Germans, Bush’s visit will invoke memories of the country’s reunification in 1990 when his father, George H.W. Bush, was president.

“Bush’s father was and is very popular in Germany,” Alexander Privitera, a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, said in an interview about former President George H.W. Bush. “He’s much more popular than Ronald Reagan, for instance, clearly seen as one of the main architects of the German reunification.”

Privitera, who studies the effect German policies have on relations with the U.S., said Bush’s trip was also noteworthy for where he was not going, namely the United Kingdom and France, two of the U.S.’s staunchest allies.

“It sends a message that Germany is relevant, and inherent in that message is a recognition from the Bush camp that talking to Berlin can be more effective in European matters than talking to Paris or London,” Privitera said.

Additionally, it sends a “clear message to Russia” that Bush takes seriously the conflict in Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly denied accusations from the U.S., NATO and the European Union that it sent forces and weapons to aid rebels in eastern Ukraine, which Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said earlier this month has killed about 7,000 civilians since fighting started in April 2014.

In an interview Wednesday with BBC, Poroshenko said his country’s military was fighting Russian troops, not Russian- backed separatists. “This is a real war with Russia,” Poroshenko said.

In Germany, Merkel has repeatedly won pledges from her country’s business groups that they’ll abide by European Union sanctions imposed against Russia for its encroachment on Ukraine. At a joint news conference earlier this month with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Merkel said that Russia’s “illegal” annexation of Crimea last year had caused a “severe setback” in German-Russian ties and urged Putin to use his influence on separatists in eastern Ukraine to help enforce the cease-fire agreed in Minsk, Belarus.

In Poland, which shares its eastern border with Ukraine, President Bronislaw Komorowski has backed Ukraine’s call for U.N. peacekeepers.

Estonia President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, whose country shares its eastern border with Russia, has supported arming Ukraine and a “physical presence” in the country. In an interview with CNN last month, Ivles said Russia’s interference in Ukraine and annexation of territory are “out of a playbook that we last saw before World War II.”

Bush has often spoken of Russia since signaling his interest in December in running for president, saying that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have failed to properly manage relations with the former Soviet nation.

In a March interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Bush called Putin a “ruthless pragmatist,” and said “there needs to be clarity in Moscow that we’re serious about protecting the one alliance that has created enormous amounts of security and peace in the post-World War II time.”

“The Baltic states are counting on the United State to be a leader in this regard, and it’s not just Baltics,” Bush said. “It’s Poland, it’s Eastern Europe, it’s a lot of countries.”

But for the past 10 days, it’s been the U.S.’s 2003 invasion of Iraq that has consumed much of Bush’s attention. After saying in an interview on Fox News interview on May 10 that he would have authorized the invasion despite faulty intelligence, Bush reversed course after several days, saying he misheard the question. He then dismissed the question as a hypothetical, only to say on May 14 that he wouldn’t have approved it.

Speaking to about 50 business officials in Portsmouth, N. H., on Tuesday, the first of a two-swing through the state, Bush signaled again that he was not thrilled with the family comparisons, saying “people are just going to have to get over that.” “I have a life journey of my own,” he said. “I love my brother, I love my mom and dad. But I’m going to move beyond that.”

Photo: “I have a life journey of my own,” said Jeb Bush in comparisons to previous members of his family who were president. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)



  1. Dominick Vila May 22, 2015

    I don’t have a problem with any of the 2016 candidates traveling abroad to familiarize themselves with important issues. I do have the problem with the fact that while the GOP – and our complicit media – engage in witch haunts, such as e-mailgate, when the target is a Democrat, nobody has even hinted a similar treatment for Republican candidates. Is it unreasonable to expect people like Jeb Bush to release e-mails sent and received during hanging chad gate, when he was Governor of Florida? Why are Republicans allowed to make outlandish claims, attack opponents with claims that border on being libelous, and they get a free pass on issues as serious as being pivotal in the SELECTION of a United States President?

    1. FT66 May 25, 2015

      E-mails issue must not worry you at all. Understanding folks are asking themselves the same question: how sure can we be, Jeb didn’t release only selected email? This issue will prop up a lot after finding nothing in all e-mail released by Hillary.

  2. charleo1 May 23, 2015

    The fact remains, nothing has weaken America, served to embolden it’s enemies, and undermined the trust of her allies, like the invasion of Iraq. And it doesn’t appear any of the GOP leadership have been able to bring themselves to properly internalize that irrefutable fact. Which begs the question, if given the opportunity, would they again make such an unmitigated blunder? Could we reasonably expect our friends to follow the next
    Republican President, who says this regime, or that cabal, is a threat to the World? And so goes on to say, must be brought to heel immediately! As there is no time to wait for smoking guns, so our allies must trust our intel on this? In Mr. Bush’s case, an intel that consists of a who’s who of the same advisors that manufactured the case for war in Iraq. To myself, the Republican’s revisionism on the Iraq War, and laying the direct consequences at the feet of President Obama. Is a redux, or reenactment of their knocks on this President’s economic policies in his first term. “My, My!” “Look at how the food stamp budget has exploded, under Obama!” “Gee Whiz!” There sure has been a lot of people losing their jobs, and homes, since, “The Community Organizer,” assumed the Presidency!” Well, who made this muddle in the Middle East in the first place!?

    1. plc97477 May 23, 2015

      My reading of the article seems to be saying that jeb has plans of attacking russia. Could be interesting to find out how that will screw up the world.

      1. charleo1 May 24, 2015

        It’s my personal opinion the Right, due in part to the damage incurred to it’s credibility by the Bush Adm. Has become a very different, radical, and dangerous political organization. And Americans should no longer assume that the weight, and responsibilities of office, will produce a more sober, and prudent GOP than their candidates rhetoric on the campaign trail would seem to portray. I think we have to take them at their word. I also think as a Party, they are unsure about who they are. Or what they could, or should be going forward. As a part of the Conservative Right is desperate to redefine themselves into a Party more in tune with a larger electorate, and the changing demographics of the Country. But are constrained in these efforts by their own internal divisions. Induced in no small measure by their misguided decisions in the wake of the Bush twin disasters, (Iraq, and economic collapse.) Of adopting into the mainstream of the troubled Party, the most radical, and extreme elements in the Country in order to fill out their dwindling ranks. An idea that has plagued, and tempted the Party base since the McCarthy era of the 50s, and Barry Goldwater’s embrace of extremism and his huge loss in the 60s, put this faction to rest for many years. Then, with Bush’s spectacular failures of the moderates. The so called, business, or establishment Right. And the Left’s subsequent election of an African American President, served to provide all the ammunition necessary to loose the Radicals, militants, and political insurgents. And create the unpredictable monstrosity we’re witnessing today. So, I think America is facing some very uncertain, and potentially very harmful times over the next couple of decades. Including the potential for even more military, and economic disasters of greater magnitude than Iraq, or the financial calamity of 2008.

  3. bobnstuff May 23, 2015

    I hope that JEB is better at dealing with world leaders the Mitt was. The republicans anymore seem to have a problem with foreign affairs. They always sound like they want to pick a fight with someone.

    1. idamag May 25, 2015

      You noticed that, too. No wonder bullying has become such a problem in our public schools. The adults aren’t very good role models. There are those dippedins that think that posturing, by the U.S. will keep us safe. I remember an incident that came out in the news, a long time ago. I think the small town was in Texas. There was a person everyone was afraid of. Even the police would not touch him. One day, in broad daylight, with crowded streets someone shot him in his pickup truck. Despite the fact that it was the main street, teeming with shoppers, no one saw a thing. When the fearful, rise up against the United States, it won’t be with a rifle.

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