Rand Paul: Jeb Bush "fumbled" Iraq question

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to students during a discussion on criminal justice reform at Bowie State University, in Bowie, Md., Friday, March 13, 2015.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said that his fellow Republican, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, gave an "incredibly fumbled answer" when he was asked earlier this week if he would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

"I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got," Bush said in a Fox News interview with Megyn Kelly that aired Monday night.

Bush later claimed to have "interpreted the question wrong" and thought Kelly was asking him whether he would have authorized the invasion given what was known in 2003. In fact, she asked, "Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?"

He has since defended his reticence to speak more about the decisions leading up to the Iraq war, telling reporters in Reno, Nevada Wednesday that, "Talking about the past and saying, 'How would you have done something after the fact?' is a little tougher and doesn't exactly change anything."

Paul told Politico that Bush "fumbled" the question and that he plans to make a "clear distinction" from his fellow Republicans on the lessons of history.

"We think it's a good place for where I am because I think the American people now think the Iraq War was a mistake," he said.

Paul also blasted fellow Republican senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio for his support for foreign aid, something which Paul wants to minimize and in some cases eliminate entirely.

"If any Republican nominee wants to run on the idea that borrowing money and printing it up and sending it to foreign countries that often hate us and burn our flag and think it's a good idea, feel free to run on that issue," Paul he said. "But it's not really popular with the people."

He said Rubio is on the "wrong side of history" by supporting aid to other countries.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for