A truism has developed during the 2016 election campaign that #Donald Trump can say the most outrageous things and not have it affect his poll numbers. That principle may be put to a severe test as a result of Trump not only claiming that President George W. Bush lied about Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction to justify the Iraq War but also blaming him for 9/11. These claims certainly livened up the debate in South Carolina where George W. Bush is regarded with some reverence.
Historians and political analysts still debate the causes and the justifications for the invasion of Iraq, which resulted in the fall of Saddam Hussein and thousands of American deaths in the insurgency that followed. Every intelligence agency on the planet at the time had concluded that Hussein was conducting a WMD program, including a push for an atomic bomb as well as chemical and biological weapons. Subsequent intelligence, after Iraq was overrun, proved to be scanty, though some evidence exists that Hussein transported his WMD arsenal to Syria shortly before the invasion.
In any case, the trope of “Bush lied, people died!” is something that comes from the far left and not someone who is running for the Republican nomination for president. Not even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has gone where Trump has ventured, at least as can be determined.
Trump flirtation with 9/11 trutherism, at least around the edges, was also curious. As Marco Rubio pointed out, the roots of 9/11 stem from the fact that President Bill Clinton failed to assassinate Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance. Jeb Bush, understandably, also came to the defense of his brother.
Trump has delved into a number of conspiracy theories before, indulging in Obama birtherism by demanding a look at the president’s birth certificate. He has developed a reputation as a tough talking person not afraid to tell the truth, not matter if it is politically correct or not. But his display in South Carolina also revealed a man who is not shy of raving insanely as well. Whether this instance will hurt him at the polls remains to be seen. #Election 2016 #GOP