National Security

Cruz: ‘Of course’ Iraq was a mistake

Ted Cruz, Iran
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Ted Cruz is breaking from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) about whether or not he would have ordered the U.S. military into its eight-year war in Iraq.

“Knowing what we know now, of course we wouldn’t go into Iraq,” the Texas Republican told The Hill on Tuesday.

{mosads}“At the time, the intelligence reports indicated that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction that posed a significant national security threat to this country. That’s the reason there was such widespread bipartisan support for going into Iraq,” he added. “We now know in hindsight, those intelligence reports were false.”

“Without that predicate, it is difficult to imagine the decision would have been made to go into Iraq, and that predicate proved erroneous,” Cruz said.

The comments come after Bush landed in hot water for defending the 2003 invasion launched by his brother, George W. Bush.

In an interview on Fox News, Bush said he “would have” ordered troops into Iraq, “and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everyone,” he said on Fox News.

The comments sparked a backlash on the right, with pundits such as Laura Ingraham and Byron York blasting the comments as misguided and a bad omen for his candidacy.

Bush — Cruz’s likely rival in the race for the Republican nomination for president — and his team have seemed to try to walk the comments back in the hours since the Fox News interview.

Cruz on Tuesday said he was satisfied with Bush’s response, and refrained from launching any criticism.

“My understanding is that his team today walked that back and said that Gov. Bush had misunderstood the question,” he said. “I certainly take him at his word.”

Tags Invasion of Iraq Ted Cruz

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