Former President George W. Bush warned over the weekend against lifting sanctions against Iran as he made a rare foray into offering commentary on current political events.
Mr. Bush, who has remained largely under the radar since leaving office in early 2009, questioned whether it was wise to lift sanctions against Tehran when the Islamic government seemed to be caving in and suggested the United States risked losing leverage if it did so, The New York Times reported.
Mr. Bush, whose military adventurism in the Middle East during the mid-2000s has come under scrutiny from friends and foes alike, nevertheless quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as saying that “pulling out of Iraq was a strategic blunder” at the Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting in Las Vegas.
He reportedly told the group he had changed course when it was required, but that when leading America, “you gotta mean it” when talking tough.
Mr. Bush also expressed a reluctance to enter the campaign fray, saying it could be unhelpful for his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is weighing a 2016 presidential run, and unseemly.
“That’s why you won’t see me,” he said, also calling former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 Democratic frontrunner, “formidable” but beatable.