Jeb Bush Says We Should Declare War on ISIS Following Paris Attacks

Jeb Bush Says We Should Declare War on ISIS Following Paris Attacks
Photo by Michelle Eve Sandberg

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Paris that left at least 129 dead and countless others wounded, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came out talking tough about ISIS. During an interview on Meet the Press Sunday, Bush said that the United States should declare war on ISIS and that the Obama administration's approach to terrorists has been "weak" and "incremental."

"I'd tell the American public that a caliphate the size of Indiana garners strength each and every day if it's not taken out," Bush said. "My heart goes out to the people of Paris, and this will continue on. We have to be in this fight. There is no other option."

Bush pushed the idea of taking the fight to ISIS, saying that the solution is to destroy it and then build a coalition to replace it. 

"It'll never die unless it's destroyed," Bush said. "The policy of containment isn't going to work. And it's a policy of incremental, just kind of running out the clock so the next president has to deal with this. Should I be the president of the United States, I promise I will.

"This is viewed as a law enforcement exercise by the Obama administration," Bush continued. "We should declare war. And harness all the power the United States."

It was tough talk from Bush, who is, of course, George W. Bush's brother, and this marks the first time he's spoken about ISIS since he blamed its existence on Bill Clinton back in August — even though the prevailing conclusion is that ISIS' creation was the result of George W. Bush's Iraqi war and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. 

But Jeb, who has been trailing in the polls, looked to seize on the narrative a day after the Democratic candidates' debate. Bush not only criticized the Obama administration but turned his attacks on Hillary Clinton, jumping on the Democratic frontrunner's comments about how the aftermath of the Paris attacks "cannot be America's fight."

“I’m more concerned about Hillary Clinton thinking that the United States doesn’t have a leadership role in this,” Bush said after being asked about Donald Trump and Ben Carson. “That’s my big concern.”

Bush also went on CNN's State of the Union to attack Obama and Hillary, saying, "Hillary Clinton said last night it's not our fight. It is our fight."

On Sunday afternoon, Jeb doubled down in a statement, saying: "These attacks are a stark reminder of the serious threat we face. The Obama Administration’s approach has been weak and incremental, too often viewing terrorism as a law enforcement problem. We need to treat it as a war — to take the fight to the enemy."

Bush then went after Clinton — again — calling her out for saying the attacks were not America's fight. 

"Just last night, Hillary Clinton made that claim on national TV," the statement reads. "Let there be no mistake, this is our fight. This is an organized effort to destroy Western Civilization, and we must defeat it. Developing a strategy is the first step in that process. Right now, we don’t have one. A policy of containment will never destroy ISIS or end the conflict in Syria that is fueling radicalism."

Jeb put forth a policy of having a no-fly zone over Syria, and "safe zones in the region for refugees — all built with a coalition of our allies in Europe and the Middle East." 

Here's what Hillary Clinton said about ISIS during the debate:

"We have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained. It must be defeated. If we summon our resources but our leadership resources but all the tools at our disposal, not just military force, which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way, that we can bring people together, but it cannot be an American fight. We will support those who will take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military. Why we have special operators in Syria working with the Kurds and Arabs, so that we can be supportive, but this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential."   

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