Why Donald Trump’s vicious attack on George W. Bush was so brutally effective — and brilliant

February 14, 2016 in News by RBN Staff

Source: theweek.com
by James Poulos

There was an uninvited guest onstage Saturday night at the latest and most brutal Republican presidential debate: George W. Bush.

The focus on Bush 43’s legacy signals a big problem for the GOP. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who declared in a prior debate that he missed the bygone president, pronounced W the winner last night. But no matter how much Jeb Bush defended his brother, or Marco Rubio came to the former president’s aid, that Bush’s legacy abruptly became a question at all, at this very late date, dealt the establishment a potentially crippling blow.

Yes, the establishment — there’s that word again, used advisedly but of necessity. For what was supposed to be more established a fact in the Republican Party but that George W. Bush — at a bare, bare minimum — was the right man in office on Sept. 11? Yet here was Donald Trump, naked in a way few have really seen him before, slamming home the message again and again: W messed up. He hurt the party. And he hurt the country.

“The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush,” Trump growled. “He kept us safe? That is not safe.” Technically true, but, as is so often the case with Trump, the details came second to theme, and the theme went far beyond 9/11 or the gasps and boos Trump’s comments brought. Trump slapped W on Iraq, too. “The war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. They lied,” he said of Dubya’s administration. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none.”