Following Jeb Bush’s Lead, Marco Rubio Flip Flops on Iraq

Last week, presumed 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush first stated that he would have invaded Iraq back in 2003 but later clarified his position, saying that he meant that he would have done so based on the false intelligence presented at the time but would not have carried out the invasion based on what he knows now.

In the above-embedded video clip of an interview on Fox News Sunday with 2016 presidential contender and US Senator Marco Rubio, Chris Wallace played a March 30 clip from The Five in which Rubio said that the world was a better place without Saddam Hussein in response to a question about whether the Iraq War was a mistake. Wallace then played a second clip from earlier this month when Rubio said during an interview with Charlie Rose that he would not have supported the invasion of Iraq had he known that Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.

“Isn’t that a flip?” said Chris Wallace.

Rubio defended his positions using the same line of reasoning that put Bush on the defensive last week — that he was responding to “two different questions.” Rubio said that, because The Five guest host Julie Roginsky had asked him whether he felt that the invasion was a mistake, he was answering the question on the basis of what President George W. Bush would have known at the time. “No, it was not the same question. The question was whether it was a mistake, and my answer was it was not a mistake. I still say it was not a mistake… The president can’t make a decision based on what someone might know in the future… It was not a mistake for the president to go into Iraq based on the information he was provided as president.”

However, Rubio’s response to the March 30 question argued that the “world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq” and that failing to invade Iraq might have led to a nuclear arms race between Iran and Iraq, commenting specifically on the matter in hindsight. Roginsky’s original question had asked whether the invasion of Iraq was a mistake given the fact that it seems to have empowered Iran as a regional superpower.

For more election coverage, click here.