Jeb Bush finally settled a question that has dogged him since he first signaled interest in the presidency: Would he have invaded Iraq like his brother George W. Bush?
The younger Bush's answer: yes.
In an interview set to air on Fox News Monday Night, Bush told Megyn Kelly that the decision to occupy Iraq was the correct one, given the intelligence available at the time.
“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.
Bush instead criticized what he characterized as poor decisions made to ensure security after the initial invasion. He noted that the former president had similar judgments about the war, which killed nearly 4,500 American service members and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians.
The comments come as recent polling shows the prospective Republican field tightening. A Bloomberg survey this week found Bush neck and neck in competition with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.
Bush has regularly deflected questions over how his policies would compare with those of his brother. Though he has tended to emphasize that he is his "own man," the former Florida governor downplayed any differences over the move to attack Iraq.
"If they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those," Bush said.
In recent weeks, Bush has signaled his agreement with his predecessor's foreign policy outlook. Last week, the prospective candidate -- who has not officially announced -- reportedly referred to his brother as a top foreign policy adviser.
In the interview, Bush also discussed hot-button issues such as immigration policy and the sway of right-wing activists in the GOP.