Washington – Presumed Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said on Sunday that he would have authorised the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, though he acknowledged mistakes made after Saddam Hussein’s downfall.
Bush, the son and brother of two former presidents, pointed out that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton voted in favour of authorising the use of force in Iraq ahead of the invasion.
“I would have (authorised the invasion), and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody,” Bush told Fox News television in an interview to be aired late on Monday.
“And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”
Fox News released part of the interview on Sunday.
Bush criticised US policy at the time for failing to focus on security first, saying that led the Iraqis to turn against the military.
But he also denied that security was a major point of contention between him and his brother, then-president George W. Bush, who ordered the invasion.
“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George Bush,” Jeb Bush said.
“Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”
The former Florida governor, who has yet to formally announce his candidacy, also discussed immigration.
He is married to Columba Bush, who was born in Mexico; he speaks fluent Spanish and as a young man lived in Venezuela.
“There’s got to be a point where we fix this system so that legal immigration is easier than illegal immigration, and show some respect for people,” Bush said.
“I just think there’s a point passed which we’re over the line.”
Winning Latino support is key if Bush is to succeed in a likely run for the presidency.
About 11 million Hispanic people took part in the 2012 election, equivalent to 8.8 percent of the total number of voters.