WASHINGTON -- Jeb Bush said his brother isn’t to blame for the increased spending while George W. Bush was in office. Instead, Bush argued it was Congress who should take the blame for the sharp increase in government spending while Republicans controlled by the executive and legislative branches.
“I mean, because of the war and because of the focus on protecting the homeland, I think he let the Republican Congress get a little out of control, in terms of the spending,” Jeb Bush said in an interview on “Face The Nation.”
Jeb Bush also tried to find a way to avoid criticizing his brother on the Iraq War. “We were under attack and he brought -- he unified the country,” Bush said. “And he showed dogged determination, and he kept us safe. And you know, you can talk about a lot of stuff, but when you're president of the United States and you're confronted with that kind of event, to respond the way he did is admirable.”
Jeb Bush is still struggling to figure out how to respond to questions about the Iraq War and his brother’s time in office. There is little doubt as the Islamic State group remains a critical matter of foreign policy and the fighting in Iraq continues, Jeb Bush is going to have to answer questions about his brother. It will be unavoidable.
As he builds a presidential campaign, he has attempted to walk a delicate line in discussing George W. Bush’s term. The rest of the Republican field has become much more critical of decisions elder brother made in office, but Jeb Bush has attempted to avoid criticizing his brother.
It’s a balance he will have to find if he runs for president. Perhaps as practice, Jeb Bush tried to dodge the delicate question of when and if he is going to declare as a presidential candidate. "I hope I run. I would like to run. But I haven't made a final decision,” Jeb Bush said. “I hope so. I hope I'm a candidate in the near future." He said a decision could come after he returns from a trip to Europe the second week of June.
Bush has opted to delay making an official announcement regarding whether he’s running for president, instead using the first half of the year to raise money for his super PAC, “Right To Rise.” The PAC can accept unlimited donations, but once he announces his candidacy can no longer coordinate with him or his campaign staff.
Critics have said Bush is violating campaign finance laws because while he hasn’t said the words he’s running for president, all of his actions qualify him as a candidate. Bush denied he is breaking the law, saying, “I would never do that.”