Gov. Jeb Bush, who is still weighing whether to jump into the 2016 presidential contest, got a taste of the kind of raw confrontation that would inevitably be part of the campaign landscape.
During one of Bush’s town halls, Ivy Ziedrich, a 19-year-old student at the University of Nevada, challenged Bush on his assertion that the so-called Islamic State was the result of the U.S. pulling out of Iraq.
Here’s video of the moment from ABC News:
The New York Times, which first reported on the exchange yesterday, describes the confrontation like this:
“‘It was when 30,000 individuals who were part of the Iraqi military were forced out — they had no employment, they had no income, and they were left with access to all of the same arms and weapons,’ Ms. Ziedrich said.
“She added: ‘Your brother created ISIS.’
“Mr. Bush interjected. ‘All right. Is that a question?’
“Ms. Ziedrich was not finished. ‘You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir.’
“‘Pedantic? Wow,’ Mr. Bush replied.”
Ziedrich went on to ask why he blamed the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq for the rise of ISIS, when what’s to blame are “pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism?”
The former Florida governor said that if President Obama had signed a Status of Forces Agreement that left about 10,000 troops in Iraq, the Islamic State would have never found a void to fill.
“Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because American pulled back,” Bush concluded.
After the exchange, Ziedrich told ABC News that Bush’s response lacked “perspective.”
She added: “I think he’s telling the truth as he understands it. I think it’s important when we have people in positions of authority we demand a dialogue and accountability.”