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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Jeb Bush’s Partisan Patriotism Reveals Flawed Character

From “Jeb Bush defends McCain, but supported Swift Boat attacks against Kerry” by Jeremy Diamond and Jake Tapper:

After Donald Trump questioned Republican Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is not a veteran, quickly jumped to McCain’s defense.
“Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans – particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration,” he tweeted on Saturday.
But that outrage was missing ten years ago, when a political group attacked another Vietnam veteran — then-Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee who sought to unseat Bush’s brother, the incumbent president, during the 2004 election.
Instead, Bush praised Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that lobbed attacks questioning Kerry’s service record in Vietnam — attacks McCain unequivocally criticized in 2004 as “dishonest and dishonorable.”

Here’s an excerpt from Bush’s self-righteous letter to the swiftboaters, as reported by Tapper and Diamond:

As someone who truly understands the risk of standing up for something, I simply cannot express in words how much I value their willingness to stand up against John Kerry,” Bush wrote in a letter dated January 19, 2005.

The authors note of the swift boater attacks that “All of the charges were contradicted by official military records and almost all of the men who served with Kerry came out in defense of their former crewmate, praising his courage.”
And further, “Only one of the swift boat critics served with Kerry. Kerry received several medals for his service in Vietnam, including several Purple Heart medals for injuries he sustained in combat.”
Bush should answer for his highly politicized patriotism and explain how he feels about the swift boat attacks today. Whether or not he today has the mettle to apologize for disrespecting a highly-decorated veteran will reveal much about his character and integrity.

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