Jeb Bush unveiled his foreign policy strategy back in February and attempted to separate himself from the polarizing foreign policy left behind by his brother.
Bush declared his independence from the legacy of his father and brother in Chicago during his first major foreign policy speech on Wednesday, stating:
I love my father and my brother. I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions they had to make. But I am my own man — and my views are shaped by my own thinking and own experiences. Each president learns from those who came before — their principles … their adjustments. One thing we know is this: Every president inherits a changing world … and changing circumstances.
However, this is somewhat baffling considering that “he’s getting most of his ideas from nearly two dozen people, most of whom previously worked for George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush,” according to a report by The Washington Post.
Another report by The Washington Post notes that:
If Bush’s goal is to present himself as his “own man,” that list of advisers undermines the point somewhat: 19 of the 21 people on it worked in the administrations of his father or brother.
Reuters elaborated, publishing a list of “21 diplomatic and national security veterans who will provide informal advice to Bush in coming months,” provided by an aide to Jeb Bush.
It includes people representing a wide spectrum of ideological views in the Republican Party. It includes James Baker, known for his pragmatism in key roles during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies, and former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, a hawk as deputy defense secretary who was an architect of George W. Bush’s Iraq policy.
Among others are two former secretaries of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, former national security adviser Stephen Hadley and a deputy national security adviser, Meghan O’Sullivan, as well as two former CIA directors, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden.
Reagan’s secretary of state George Schultz is also on the Bush list.
As one might expect, Democrats were quick to jump on Bush’s claim to be his own man. Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Holly Shulman stated that:“We know that Jeb Bush is leaning on more than a dozen foreign policy advisers who were the architects of George W. Bush’s cowboy foreign policy agenda that damaged the country’s reputation abroad.”
Today, Jeb Bush made his first foray into explaining and attempting to recast his foreign policy. But despite Jeb Bush’s claim that he will be his “own man,” there is little evidence that Jeb Bush’s foreign policy agenda is much different than his brother’s.
Embracing decisions that made the world more dangerous, and then trying to shift the blame — that’s the Jeb Bush Doctrine.