Who does potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush consider to be his “most influential counselor” on U.S.-Israel policy? According to a new report from the Washington Post, that honor belongs to none other than his brother, former President George W. Bush.
“If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him,” Jeb Bush reportedly told a group of potential donors at a private event in New York City this week.
WaPo’s Robert Costa and Matea Gold wrote:
Embracing his brother as a foreign policy confidant is a risky and unexpected move for the former Florida governor as he readies for a likely presidential run. While George W. Bush’s approval ratings have improved since he left office in 2009, his foreign policy legacy — particularly the long war in Iraq — remains deeply unpopular. He has also become anathema to some conservative activists for presiding over an increase in the federal debt, among other policies.
While it’s true that Jeb Bush has tried to distance himself from his brother, declaring in a speech earlier this year, “I am my own man,” he has been hesitant to actually disagree with him on any major issues. In a joint interview with CNN in 2010, Jeb said of W., “I am the only Republican that was in office when he was in office as president that never disagreed with him, and I’m not going to start now, ’til death do us part.”
But meanwhile, George W. Bush has acknowledged that his own record could be an obstacle for his brother in the race. “The role of family is not to be a political adviser or a policy adviser — there are plenty of those around,” the former president told a Chicago audience just last month. “The role is to say, ‘Hey man, I love you.”
[Photos via screengrab]
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