Media Should Not Help Jeb Bush Criticize Democrats Over Phrase “Radical Islam,” By Ignoring His Brother's Similar Rhetoric

Media should be careful about aiding Jeb Bush's criticism of Democrats for not using the phrase “radical Islam” by failing to note that President George W. Bush's administration followed the same practice.

Media Outlets Push Jeb Bush's Criticism Of Democrats Over The Phrase “Radical Islam” Without Noting George W. Bush Practiced A Similar Policy

Fox & Friends Allowed Jeb Bush To Push His Criticism Of Democrats Over Failure To Use “Islam” When Describing Terrorists. During the November 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Jeb Bush condemned Democrats for avoiding the term “radical Islam” . The hosts failed to note that George W. Bush avoided the same term, instead asking, “What is a leader like Hillary Clinton, who wants to empathize with the enemy, going to do for our country” :

JEB BUSH: This is Islamic terrorism. The Democrats have no clue about this, or they just refuse to call it what it is. These are Islamic terrorists that are trying to take out our country and destroy Western civilization. And if you start with that premise, which I think a great majority of Americans believe, then you have a totally different approach on how you deal with it.


This is radical Islamic terrorism, period, over and out. And we should have a strategy to take it out. This president, the same time that he refuses to have a strategy is releasing Islamic terrorists from Guantanamo. This makes no sense. This is “Alice in Wonderland” logic. And we need a forceful leader that convinces the world that this is a great threat and we can't negotiate with this threat. We have to win. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/16/15]

Associated Press: Jeb Bush Among Republicans Criticizing Democrats For Avoiding “Rhetorical Choice” Of “Radical Islam.”  In a November 15 article, the Associated Press noted Jeb Bush's presence among Republicans who “jumped on” Democrats refusing “to label the efforts to fight terrorism as a war on 'radical Islam', a rhetorical choice Republicans frequently cite as a sign of weakness.” The Associated Press made no mention that George W. Bush also avoided the use of the term. From the article:

Obama remains a popular figure in the Democratic Party and Clinton's ability to capture the White House will depend in large part on whether she can win over the coalition of minority, women and young voters that twice catapulted him to victory.

But his foreign policy remains deeply unpopular. An Associated Press-GfK poll released earlier this month found more than 6 in 10 Americans reject his handling of the threat posed by the Islamic State. Republicans are eager to tie Clinton to the legacy of her former boss.

“The president has admitted he does not have a strategy as it relates to ISIS. Hillary Clinton last night said that it's not our fight,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a Sunday morning interview on CNN's “State of the Union.” ''It is our fight."

They jumped on her refusal, like Obama, to label the efforts to fight terrorism as a war against “radical Islam,” a rhetorical choice Republicans frequently cite as a sign of weakness. [Associated Press, 11/15/15]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Jeb Bush Criticized Democrats For Refusal To Say U.S. At War With Radical Islam. A November 15 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted Jeb Bush's criticism of Democrats for not using the term “radical Islam,” while omitting the fact that George W. Bush adopted the same rhetorical strategy:

Clinton's decision to clarify her views on ISIS came as Republicans pounced on her debate comments.

On NBC's “Meet the Press,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took aim.

Asked if he trusted fellow Republican candidates Donald Trump or Ben Carson to be commander in chief, Bush said, "I don't know. The words I hear them speaking give me some concern. But that's why we have campaigns.

“I'm more concerned about Hillary Clinton thinking the United States doesn't have a leadership role in this.”


Both Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., another Republican presidential hopeful, also criticized the Democratic candidates for refusing to say the U.S. was at war with “radical Islam.” Clinton, Sanders and O'Malley had been careful to say the U.S. was not at war with all of Islam,
but with jihadists and radicals who happen to be Muslim.


“A caliphate the size of Indiana garners strength each every day if it's not taken out,” Bush said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” “We have to be in this fight. There is no other option. And this threat can be contained, but more importantly it will never die unless it's destroyed. And the policy of containment isn't going to work.”

Bush said the U.S. should declare war on ISIS, enforce a no-fly zone over Syria and put American troops on the ground to fight, but he did not say how many U.S. soldiers should deploy. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/15/15]

However, As Some Noted, President George W. Bush Followed A Similar Rhetorical Practice

Jake Tapper: Both Hillary Clinton And George W. Bush Didn't “Want To Label It As Islamic Terrorism.”  On the November 15 edition of CNN's State of the Union, host Jake Tapper pressed Jeb Bush for attacking Democratic candidates for avoiding the term “radical Islam” , even though George W. Bush had stated, “the face of terror is not the true faith of Islam” :

TAPPER: You on Twitter last night tweaked Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic candidates for being unwilling to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” at the debate.
Hillary Clinton said she's following the example of your brother, George W. Bush, after 9/11. Take a listen to this.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The face of terror is not the truth faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war.


TAPPER: Is Islam peace, governor?

JEB BUSH: You know what? I know what Islamic terrorism is. And that's what we are fighting with ISIS, al-Qaeda, all of the other groups. And that's what our focus should be on. This is not a question of religion. This is a political ideology that has co-opted a religion. And I think it's more than acceptable just to call it for what it is and then organize an effort to destroy it.

TAPPER: I guess the question is, though, Hillary Clinton said she doesn't want to label it as Islamic terrorism. And that seemed to be, at least in the first few years of the “War on Terror” under President Bush, your brother, his blueprint as well.

BUSH: Yes.

TAPPER: And he said, “Islam is peace.” It's hard to imagine Hillary Clinton saying, “Islam is peace” and not being attacked by Republicans.

BUSH: I don't -- look, all I know is that she does not believe that this is our fight. This is a fight for Western civilization. [CNN, State of the Union, 11/15/15]

Washington Post: Clinton Points Out Her Debate Statements Were “Essentially What President Bush Said,” Following 9/11. A November 16 article in the Washington Post noted that Hillary Clinton pointed out President Bush's statements following 9/11 were similar to her own and further noting that President Bush said, “Islam is peace,” while “adding that America is not war with Muslims” :

Sensing her weakness, Republicans spent the weekend trying to engage in a war of words with Clinton. They're re-upping in increasingly fiery rhetoric the conservative argument that because she won't use the term “radical Islam” to describe those who make up the Islamic State, she's incapable of understanding how to defeat them. (It's an argument long used against Obama, who also eschews the phrase.)


But Clinton, unlike Obama, has found an effective way to push right back: pointing out that none other than President George W. Bush kind of agrees with her. And already, her strategy tripped up the person who arguably has the most to gain from a recasting of who's to blame for Middle East violence -- President Bush's brother, former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Clinton made clear at Democrats' second debate Saturday that yes, she does think folding Islam into the discussion of fighting terrorism abroad is counterproductive. At a time when Western and Muslim powers need to cooperate more than ever, the United States can't afford to sow doubt among Muslims about whose side its on, she argued.

She pointed out that's essentially what President Bush said in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “Islam is peace,” Bush said, adding that America is not at war with


Bush then appeared to undermine his own argument by indicating that perhaps rhetoric isn't the only way to assess one's toughness against an enemy.

“I don't think anybody would question that my brother was in that fight, that he viewed it as a national security fight, and he led,” Bush said. [The Washington Post, 11/16/15]

Former President Bush Repeatedly Made Clear That Terrorism Does Not Represent The Islamic Faith

Bush: “We Do Not Fight Islam, We Fight Against Evil.” In November 2001 President Bush delivered remarks to the Warsaw Conference on Combating Terrorism during which he stated that, “The head of the 22 nation Arab League rejected the claims of the terrorist leader and said he -- Osama bin Laden -- 'doesn't speak in the name of Arabs and Muslims.'” Bush went on to declare that “All of us here today understand this: We do not fight Islam, we fight against evil.” [White House Archives, 11/6/01]

Bush: “The Face Of Terror Is Not The True Faith Of Islam.” During remarks given at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C in the days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Bush assured Americans that attacks committed by al-Qaeda were not representative of the Islamic faith:

BUSH: The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace, they represent evil and war. [White House Archives, 9/17/01]

Bush: “The Terrorists Are Traitors To Their Own Faith, Trying, In Effect, To Hijack Islam Itself.” In an address to a joint session of Congress following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush again made clear that the terrorists who attacked the United States, “practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.” Bush spoke directly to the difference between extremist terrorists and Muslims:

BUSH: I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. (Applause.) The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them. [White House Archives, 9/20/01]