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Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos... Jeb Bush said today that, knowing what he knows now, he would have totally handled this whole Iraq war question thing wayyyy differently.
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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND
Remember back when one of Jeb Bush’s questions about running for president was “Can I do it joyfully?” At least for the last four days, it seems like that answer has been, errr… no. Bush looked genuinely pained and exasperated today when he took the politically necessary step of clarifying that, knowing what we now know, he would not have gone into Iraq. (One clear source of his frustration was obvious in his eye-rolling over the idea that “we’re all supposed to answer hypotheticals.”) But the hard truth of running for president is that flip-flopping, as unpleasant as it probably feels, is something candidates almost always have to do to win.. Has any nominee not had those moments of gritting their teeth through a 180 degree policy turn? Not Obama (free trade), not McCain (immigration), not Romney (health care) and not Hillary Clinton (whose cleanup of past gay marriage statements was one of her first actions as a candidate.)
Bush has said that he wants to be “joyful” because America needs candidates who “lift our spirits.” We’re going to go out on a limb and say that four days of relitigating a bloody and unpopular war hasn’t exactly accomplished that goal for anybody. Least of all, Jeb Bush.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
Jeb Bush fully reversed himself on the Iraq question, telling an audience in Arizona that, knowing what we know now, “I would have not engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.”
NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell writes that Bush’s slip of the tongue yesterday about running for president could actually be a legal problem.
At least one Republican isn’t running for president in 2016, Kasie Hunt and one of us reports.
And another -- former New York Gov. George Pataki -- will announce his decision on May 28, one of us writes.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is taking a shock-and-awe approach to policy, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
Marco Rubio on Wednesday laid out a foreign policy doctrine heavy on promoting American military might and blisteringly critical of both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, Mark Murray and one of us writes.
Rubio also gave his Iraq answer, which seems to contradict an answer he gave just two months ago.
CAMPAIGN QUICK READS
O’MALLEY: He’ll make his 2016 announcement on May 30, the Washington Post reports (and NBC confirms.).
CRUZ: The Texas firebrand is winning over some on Wall Street, Reuters reports.
CLINTON: The publisher of “Clinton Cash” says a new version of the book corrects “seven or eight” passages that were incorrect.
Mike Huckabee addresses the RNC at their Spring Meeting in Arizona.
Donald Trump speaks at Pottawattamie County GOP Lincoln Reagan Day dinner in Iowa
Rand Paul holds campaign events in Iowa and addresses a GOP Lincoln Reagan Day dinner.
Mitt Romney enters the boxing ring for a "CharityVision" fight night benefit against five-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, and yes, this is actually a real thing.