Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to a group at a Politics and Pie at the Snow Shoe Club on April 16, 2015, in Concord, N.H.
Photo by Jim Cole/AP

Fourth time’s the charm?

Updated
“If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) gave three very different answers to that question in three days, none of which made sense.
 
Today, as msnbc’s Kasie Hunt reported, was Answer #4.
After days of equivocation, Jeb Bush on Thursday declared:  ”Knowing what we know now, what would we have done, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.” […]
 
“That’s not to say that the world isn’t safer because Saddam Hussein is gone. The world is safer,” Bush said. He went on to say it also didn’t mean the sacrifices of troops who died in Iraq, and their families, were not wasted; he explained his difficulty answering the question as concern for military service members who fought in the war.
This should, in theory, end the excruciating political test that the Republican presidential hopeful was failing miserably. Indeed, if Jeb Bush had answered the question this way with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, there would have been no controversy.
 
He knew the question was coming, and he had literally years to prepare a good answer, but the Florida Republican flubbed this badly anyway.
 
For those keeping track at home:
On Monday, “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he would have launched the war anyway.
 
On Tuesday: “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he doesn’t know what he would have done.
 
On Wednesday: “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he doesn’t even want to answer the question at all, because a response would be a “disservice” to U.S. troops.
 
And on Thursday: “If you knew in 2003 what we know now, would you have launched the war in Iraq?” Bush said he wouldn’t have launched the war.
 
His clarification needed a clarification, which needed further clarifying.
 
The headline on Gail Collins’ new New York Times column continues to stand out: “Wow, Jeb Bush is awful.”

Iraq and Jeb Bush

Fourth time's the charm?

Updated