New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t confused about Iraq: If he were president in 2003, and knew then what we know now, there’s no way he would have gone to war.
The Republican, who is considering making a bid for the Oval Office, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday that he would not have authorized the invasion, given that we now know -- that no major weapons of mass destruction were found in the country.
His remarks come after likely Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, came under criticism from both the left and the right for supporting his older brother’s reasoning for entering the war.
Christie, who is currently in the early voting state of New Hampshire, told Tapper, “If we knew then what we know now, and I were the president of the United States, I wouldn’t have gone to war. But we don’t get to replay history.” He added, “I think President Bush made the best decision he could at the time given that his intelligence community told him there was WMD (sic) and there were other threats right there in Iraq. But I don’t think you can honestly say that if we knew then that there were no WMD that the country should have gone to war,” Christie said.
Bush on Monday was asked the same question by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “I would have and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.” GOP strategist and former aide to Bush Ana Navarro has since told CNN that Bush had misunderstood the question.
The Iraq issue is one that may continue to haunt Bush, who is in a tricky position. As NBC’s First Read notes, “either he throws his brother under the bus, saying George W. Bush made an error in judgment in starting the war. Or he defends the war and finds himself on the wrong side of public opinion ...”