Jeb Bush talks ISIS, Syria, and Clinton in foreign policy speech

Jeb Bush.
(Image credit: Laura Segall/Getty Images)

In a speech outlining his foreign policy goals, Jeb Bush said the "fatal error" of the U.S. withdrawing troops from Iraq caused Islamic State to grow and flourish.

Targeting President Obama and former secretary of state and current Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Bush asked an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Southern California on Tuesday: "Who can seriously argue that America and our friends are safer today than in 2009, when the President and Secretary Clinton — the storied 'team of rivals' — took office?" The Clinton campaign responded by noting that "it was President [George W.] Bush who set the withdraw date for Americans from Iraq — not President Obama."

Jeb Bush has called ISIS "the greatest national security threat that we face," and said in order to defeat the group, the Iraqi security sector needs to be rebuilt; American air power must continue to be used; additional support has to be offered to Kurdish fighters; allies in the region need to be engaged; and there has to be a new start to diplomatic efforts, NBC News reports. "Radical Islam is a threat that we are entirely capable of overcoming, and I will be unyielding in that cause should I be elected President of the United States," he said.

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Bush also said he would defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by establishing no-fly zones and aiding forces fighting ISIS, and believes Congress has to reject the nuclear deal with Iran: "It is a deal unwise in the extreme, with a regime that is untrustworthy in the extreme."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.