CHICAGO — How specifically former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush distinguishes himself on foreign policy from his brother, former President George W. Bush, it’s clear the new Republican Presidential prospect sees it as a topic necessary to address publicly.
“I recognize that as a result, my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs,” Bush says, referring also to his father, former President George H. W. Bush, in excerpts released early of a midday speech he’s to give in Chicago on Feb. 18.
“But I am my own man – and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences,” he says. “Each President learns from those who came before – their principles. their adjustments.”
Bush has been met with questions about how he would distinguish himself particularly from his brother, who finished his second term in 2009 amid an unpopular war in Iraq, an economy in freefall and a majority of Americans disapproving of his job performance.
The younger brother has noted privately, among potential donors, their strong family and religious bonds, but the differences common among siblings.
Some foreign policy experts say Bush must go further and take a stance on whether the war in Iraq, begun in 2003 under George W. Bush, was an appropriate move.
Bush did not answer the question directly when asked about it last week during a quick press availability after an event in Florida for his mother’s literacy charity.
“The answer he gave last week, about not litigating the past, that’s not a satisfying answer,” said Peter D. Feaver, a former national security adviser to George W. Bush. “He has to come up with a better answer than that.”l
But Feaver says Bush would have an international landscape far different than the one his brother left behind.
Instead of the lurking threat of al-Qaida, Jeb Bush would inherit a map dotted with violent and unstable spots including Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Ukraine.
Jeb Bush recognizes that, according to the excerpts of his speech.
“One thing we know is this: Every president inherits a changing world. and changing circumstances,” he said.
Bush aides also confirmed late Feb. 17 that former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber, a senior policy aide to 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was advising Bush.