Trump appears to confuse George W Bush with his brother Jeb in rambling speech

‘They thought (Jeb) Bush because Bush supposedly was a military person. You know what…? He got us into the Middle East’

Mike Bedigan
Tuesday 26 September 2023 18:54 BST
Trump appears to confuse Bush brothers in rambling speech

Weeks after challenging his political rivals to a mental acuity test, Donald Trump seemed to confuse members of the Bush family as he recalled his 2016 presidential election campaign.

The former US president referred to his previous rival for the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush, as the person who “got us into the Middle East” – apparently mistaking him for his brother, former president George W Bush.

George W Bush, who served as America’s 43rd president, ordered US troops into Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

His younger brother Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, ran against Mr Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016, but lost out in the South Carolina primary.

During the primary, Mr Bush received just under 8 per cent of the vote, while Mr Trump stormed to victory with over 32 per cent.

Speaking at a campaign rally in South Carolina on Monday, Mr Trump, who once dubbed himself a “very stable genius”, told crowds that “everyone thought Bush was going to win” in 2016, ahead of the election.

“You know, the beauty was when I came here, everyone thought Bush was going to win,” he said.

“And then they took a poll and they found out Trump was up by about 50 points. Everybody said, what’s going on right here?

“They thought Bush because Bush supposedly was a military person. Great. You know what…? He got us into the Middle East. How did that work out?”

Mr Trump later suggested that Mr Bush had been “ashamed” to use his family name during his own campaign.

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in South Carolina
Donald Trump at a campaign rally in South Carolina (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

He said: “He used the word Jeb. He didn’t use the word Bush, I said ‘you mean he’s ashamed of the last name?’ And then they immediately started using the name Bush. Never forget it.”

The former president’s remarks came just over two weeks after he challenged President Joe Biden, Rupert Murdoch, and others to take a cognitive test, which he previously claimed he had “aced”.

Writing on his social media platform Truth Social, he said: “In a phony and probably rigged Wall Street Journal poll, coming out of nowhere to softened the mental incompetence blow that is so obvious with Crooked Joe Biden, they ask about my age and mentality.”

“Where did that come from?” he continued, “A few years ago I was the only one to agree to a mental acuity test, & ACED IT.”

“Now that the Globalists at Fox & the WSJ have failed to push their 3rd tier candidate to success, they do this. Well, I hereby challenge Rupert Murdoch & Sons, Biden, WSJ heads, to acuity tests!”

The post on Truth Social seemed to be referring to a 4 September Wall Street Journal poll, in which 46 per cent of those polled said that Mr Trump is mentally up for the presidency while only 36 per cent said so of Mr Biden.

It comes as questions continue to be raised about Mr Biden – who is 80 – and the impact of his age on his role as president.

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