Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was scheduled to deliver remarks on American military readiness Wednesday in South Carolina, less than a week after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and hundreds of others wounded. Bush has shifted his campaign messaging to focus on national security since the attacks, taking a bet that his primary prospects could rise if he establishes himself as a strong potential commander-in-chief.
“This brutal savagery is a reminder of what is at stake in this election,” an excerpt from his prepared remarks said. His speech at The Citadel, a military college, can be viewed live here at 12 p.m. EST. “We are choosing the leader of the free world. And if these attacks remind us of anything, it is that we are living in serious times that require serious leadership.”
A terrorist caliphate the size of Indiana can’t be contained. It must be destroyed. pic.twitter.com/kxJVUNMYPx
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 17, 2015
Bush has a vision of foreign policy to combat the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq that diverges significantly from President Barack Obama’s approach. The president ruled out sending ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria following the Friday night Paris attacks. Bush, on the other hand, has indicated that he would be open to a strategy that sends U.S. troops to the region to fight the terrorist group.
Bush also supports implementing a no-fly zone in the region and creating a space wherein the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group that has been fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, could be “built up.” President Obama has not pursued a no-fly zone, but has been conducting air raids in Syria for over a year.
Praying for Paris tonight. America will stand with you against terror.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 13, 2015
Bush has fallen in the polls since late July, when real estate mogul Donald Trump surpassed him to take first place, according to averages of national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. He currently holds just 5.3 percent of national Republican support, compared to first-place Trump, who has 24.3 percent.